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Tlie Measures of the Fust 

>tep let© 0ur (fume; ff 

8fr~ ^H ^ 1 



A Pleasure Trip Into The Past 

p» Tickets ONLY $10.00 a year— If you act now! «t§ 

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bills — we're going to send you back through time to when you were young. Yessiree, back 
to the good old days. But hurry! Step lively! Prices are subject to change at any time. Help 
beat inflation. Buy now before it costs more. 

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nrmt issues: 

Playing the Palace by Ray Bolger. 
Those Magnificent Flving Machines. 
Football : The Game that Was by Red Grange. 
An Interview With The Andrew Sisters. 
Shirley Temple, Smilin' Jack, Errol Flynn, 
The Jitterbug, Hopalong Cassidy, Krazy Kat, 
Milton Berle, Robert Crumb (Robert Crumb!) 
Circuses, Fashions, Fads, Places, Games, 
And More More More More More More! 

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Radio Drama Comes Back 

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater 
showed them how and now they're 
all doing it. In early 1974, CBS 
tried something new, "a revival of 
interest in radio as it used to be", 
by adding the Mystery Theater to 
their programming seven days a 
week. After nearly four months. 
the show was completely sold out 
to advertisers four months into the 
future. Special rating surveys by 
the American Research Bureau in 
six of the largest cities indicated 
that every station which carried the 
Vi hour radio drama made sub- 
stantial audience gains. 

WOR, the station which carries 
the show in New York (the CBS af- 
filiate has an all-news show) added 
still another series — the old "Fibber 
McCee and Molly" shows. And the 
Mutual Broadcasting System re- 
newed "Hollywood Radio Theater 
— Zero Hour" for another thirteen 
weeks, changing it only to make 
each Vz hour a complete drama in 
the successful CBS format. 

The ratings for "Mystery The- 
ater" indicated that a large 
percentage of the audience were 18 
to 49 years old, a favorite audience 
for most advertisers using radio 
and television. And that can only 
be good news for radio drama. 

Abolish Bread and Water 

The bread and water meal for 
prisoners was abolished in British 
prisons last June. Instead of the 
old, steeped -in -trad it ion punish- 
ment, the British will now use 
more modern methods to deal with 
infractions of prison discipline — 
loss of earnings, or forfeit 
reductions in sentences for good 

Nostalgia 74 

Buster Crabbe, star of the Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Tarzan 
movies and many westerns, appeared at the Playboy Towers in 
Chicago at Nostalgia 74 on August 10 and 1 1 . Crabbe showed clips of 
his films and talked about "the good old days." A film festival 
including many of Crabbe's hits was a part of the program. Other films 
shown were the complete Captain Marvel serial starring Tom Tyler, 
and some Laurel & Hardy movies. Among the wares shown at the 
convention were comic books, pulp magazines, big little books, etc. 

The Last Waltz 

The Wurlitzer Company turned 

out its last jukebox in 1974, ending 
40 years of production. The factory 
will now be used to manufacture 
electronic organs. 

The Last Note 

The singing telegram is gone; gone the way of the dodo bird and the 
passenger pidgeon. On June 2, at midnight, in San Francisco, the last 
chance to send your love a singing telegram was gone. During the 
sixteen months preceeding the demise in California, all the other states 
had discontinued the 40-year-old service. 

Why? It appears the singing telegram was the victim of poor 
demand and the difficulty of finding employees willing to sing the 
cryptic sentiments. 

The first singing telegram according to Western Union was sent in 
1934 to Rudy Vallee at a New York nightclub. He was stunned, 
according to reports. 


Jack Dempsey, the former heavy- 
weight boxing champion, has had 
a restaurant in Manhattan for 37 
years. Recently his Broadway 
establishment faced a possible end, 
for Dempsey *s Restaurant was 
threatened with eviction. But 
Dempsey fought and won. He 
delivered at least a temporary 
knockout to the landlords when the 
legal decision went in his favor. 
Not only did he get to stay for a 
while, but he was also forgiven 
back rent of about $6,400 a month 
which he had owed since July 
1973. He had to start paying rent 
again on May 1, 1974. A new lease 
is being worked out. 

Betty Hutton, who has been work- 

ing as a cook in a Rhode Island 
parish since she was overcome by 
personal troubles, was given a 
benefit by fans and friends at the 
Riverboat restaurant in New York, 
organized by columnist Earl 
Wilson and publicist Arthur 
Riback (for the Riverboat) it was 
ostensibly to benefit the parish for 
which she has been working. 
Among the stars and friends who 
attended were Joey Adams, 
George Jessel, Henny Youngman, 
Arlene Dahl, George DeWitt, and 
the Barrie Sisters. Joe Franklin, a 
New York talk show host said : "All 
the great ladies had powerful men 
behind them — Dietrich had von 
Sternberg, Garbo had von Stiller 
and you had nobody." However, 

iIkt1»74 Volui 

Publisher : 
Stan Let 

Alan LeMond 

Art Director": 
Marcia Gloster 

Art Assistants : 
Barbara Altman, Nora Maclin 

Contributing Editors: 
Woody Gelman, Jay Acton, 
Bob Abel, Walter Hogan 


Ad ministration -Production : 

Sol Brodsky 


Production Manager: 

Lenny Grow 

Vice President, 

Director of Circulation: 

John Ryan 

Business Manager: 

Ivan Snyder 

Advertising Representative : 

Kalish, Quigley & Rosen, Inc. 

667 Madison Ave., 

New York, N.Y. 10021 

Phone: 212—838-0720 

ctures: RKO Radio Pictures: Warner Bros. 
Vitaphone Pictures: 20th Century Fox; 
Columbia Pictures Corp.; Atlantic Records; 
Reprise Records; United Press International; 
Memory Shop; Universal Pictures, Inc.; 
Wide World Photos, Inc; Genera) Motors; 
Chrysler Historical Collection; Ford Motor 
ipany; Movie Star News. 

by Magazine Management Co., Inc., office 
of Publication, 575 Madison Avenue, New 
New York^N.Y., 10022. Published monthly 
Copyright ©1974 bv Magazine Management 
Co.. Inc. 575 Madison Avenue, New York. 
N.Y. 10022. AM rights reserved. All business 
Inquiries should be addressed to Director of 
Circulation, John S. Ryan 6th floor. Vol 1, 
No. 1 November 1974 issue. Price $1.00 per 
copy in the U.S. and Canada. Printed in the 
ed states of America. 

according to Robert McG. Thomas 
Jr., in the New York Times, "when 
Miss Hutton went onstage to thank 
the 400 paying guests, it was 
obvious she was not alone." 

Paul Winchell (of the Paul 
VVinchell-Jerry Mahoney Show, 
1956) who is both a ventriloquist 
and inventor was recently granted 
a patent for a process to facilitate 
the production of animated car- 
toons and film features. The patent 
says the invention is"an inexpensive 
means to provide animation of very 
high quality and competitive cost, 
and is capable of providing 
modified portraiture of actual 

persons, with enhanced back- 
grounds and foregrounds. Among 
his earlier inventions are medical 
devices, including an artificial 
heart, which is being used success- 
fully in experiments with calves at 
the University of Utah; and 
various household appliances. 

Jeremiah Johnson (portrayed by 
Robert Redford in the movie of the 
same name) finally got to rest 
where he wanted to. His real name 
was John '"Liver Eating" Johnston 
and he roamed the Absaroka 
Mountains during the era of the 
mountain men. On January 22, 
1900 at the age of 78. Johnson died 
in a California home for soldiers 
and was buried in Sawtelle 
Veterans Cemetery near Los 
Angeles. He had wanted to be 
buried in the great Northwest, but 
he was penniless and had to wait 
seventy-four years to be moved to a 
sagebrush Wyoming prairie at the 
edge of the Shoshone River near 
Buffalo Heart Mountain. Mr. 
Johnson's benefactors are a Cody 
artist and archeologist, Robert 
Edgar and a seventh -grade class at 
the Park View Junior High School 
in Lancaster, California. 

No More Homestead ing 

Alaska officially withdrew the remaining 15 million acres of "open-to- 
entry" lands this year. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, a prospective 
land owner could stake out up to 160 acres of public land designated 
for homesteading. The only stipulations were that 20 acres of the land 
had to be farmed, and homesteaders had to live on their land for at 
least seven months a year for three years. Alaska was the last state to 
offer homesteading land for free. 

Twenty-First Century Dirigibles? 

Senator Barry Goldwater urged the nation to take "a second look" at 
the possible merit of building fleets of dirigibles. The Senator said the 
airships could be used as "launching platforms for intercontinental 
missiles," or to carry huge loads— such as entire homes and 
buildings. Dirigibles were used in the twenties and thirties until a 
number of mishaps caused an almost total decline in their use. 

A Fleeting Fad 

Gone into the annals of recent nostalgia, it seems, is the flesh-fad of 
streaking. Joining the goldfish swallowers, the telephone booth 
stuffers, and the panty raiders, are the nudie cuties who used to flash 
their wares to a sometimes startled, but often delighted public. Why 
did it stop? According to Dr. Joyce Brothers, "a fad has to appeal to 
mind and muscle. The challenge of finding new and unusual ways to 
streak was no longer there. It no longer appealed to the mind." 



The Pleasures oftheFhst 

v >«» 


Nostalgia News 4 

Bringing i/o» up to date 

on the old news. 
Who Will Play Scarlett O'Hara? Parker Hodges 6 

Selznick employed a great 

publicity gimmick — the talent hunt. 
The Day Lou Gehrig Said Goodbye Jay Acton 11 

The most touching scene in 

all of baseball history. 
A Backward Glance At The Strippers David Tahlaquah . . 14 

A pictorial parade of past pasties. 
Little Orphan Annie Vs. The Great Time Warp Bob Abel 19 

She found the secret of eternal 

youth by going backwards. 
FDR & The Alphabet Years J.R. Williams 24 

When the blue eagle flew 

and CCC camps were part of the landscape. 
A James Dean Album Gene Ringgold .... 28 

The Superstar of the fifties lives on. 
Baseball Cards— Vintage 1941 34 

A brief description of a tradition 

destined to survive forever. 
For The Straight Shooter Jim Harmon 36 

As long as you played fair & square 

with all. you had nothing to fear. 
WC 6? Mac Bette Martin 40 

They knew what their fans wanted 

and they knew how to give it to them. 
Cars That Take You Back 42 

A few of the good old cars 

we wish we still owned. 
An Ode To Rock Wayne Stierle 47 

In the quiet of the fifties, 

a scream was heard. 
Doc Savage & His Circle Ron Goulart 51 

Born during a depression, 

Doc found his moment. 
Oh Yeah,That's Whatisname! ■ . Michael Valenti ... 56 

A movie quiz about faces. 
Harlow, Hughes and Hell's Angels Ron Fry 59 

The platinum blonde, an aviation 

epic, and the eccentric millionaire 
That Fonda Kind of Magic Walter H. Hogan . .64 

From 1935 to 1955. and that's 

not the half of it. 


By Parker Hodges 

Warner Brothers offered a package deal, Errol Flynn 
for Rhett and Bette Davis for Scarlett. 

It seemed to David O. Selznick 
that every female star but Marie 
Dressier wanted to play Scarlett 
O'Hara, green-eyed Georgia tempt- 
ress, heroine of the book that over- 
enthusiastic critics were calling 
America's War and Peace. Selznick 
had paid $50,000 for the movie 
rights to Gone With the Wind — an 
astounding price for 1936 — and he 
was determined that Margaret 
Mitchell's Civil War extravaganza 
should be as great a success on the 
screen as it had been in the book 
stores ; almost two million hard- 
bound copies were sold within a year 
of its publication . But he was 
worried. If he made the picture too 
soon, he'd be damned by a public 

that wanted the impossible — every 
scene of their 1,037 page favorite 
filmed intact, nothing left out, 
nothing changed. Impossible. The 
film would last for days. If he waited 
long enough for memories to mellow 
a bit, chances were that the fickle 
public would swarm to some new 
romantic sensation. He had to keep 
Scarlett and Rhett alive in the 
nation's heart. Tara, Twelve Oaks. 
Atlanta in flames must not vanish 
So, in his fertile, Hollywood imagi 
nation, the Talent Hunt was born 
He'd find an unknown to play the 
magical Scarlett, make a new star, 
and, at the same time, save the large 
salary he'd have to pay an estab- 
lished star to play the part. The gim 

r* *»1 

oretta Young wa 

■ha tested for the 

of the many stars* Lucille Bali drt 

■ through 
nn to dt 

a her reading// 

mick worked. Talent scouts swept 
the country. Director George Cukor 
was mobbed as he toured the south 
looking for Scarlett. Snapshots of 
pretty girls poured into the offices of 
Selznick International, some of the 
pictures showing the would-be- 
Scarletts clad as they were when 
they left their mothers' wombs. A 
seven-foot -tall mock-up of a copy of 
Gone With the Wind was delivered 
to Selznick's front door. Out of the 
enormous volume sprang a young, 
hoop-skirted woman proclaiming for 
all of Beverly Hills to hear, "I am 
your Scarlett O'Hara." 

Meanwhile Selznick flooded his 
surbordinates with memos. Norma 
Shearer, the cool, beautiful widow 
of producer Irving Thalberg, was 
announced as a possible Scarlett. 
The public, both Shearer's and 

in Nebraska ; she straggled into 
Hollywood and shot three tests 
within 24 hours before she flew back 
East in time to make her Monday 
night curtain. Edythe Marrener also 
came West to film a screen test. 
Even though she failed the test for 
Scarlett, the New York millinery 
model stayed in Hollywood, chang- 
ing her name to Susan Hayward. 

Rhett was also a problem. Gable, 
Clark Gable or forget the picture, 
the public seemed to be saying. But 
Gable was signed to M-G-M, and 
Selznick knew he'd have to move 
heaven and earth to get to top-gross- 
ing star for Rhett. Besides, Louis B. 
Mayer, head of M-G-M, was Selz- 
nick's father-in-law, a relationship 
neither cherished, and to go beg- 
ging, hat in hand to that stubby little 
tyrant was a task impossible for 

More than 1,400 women were interviewed; 59 
actresses made full-scale tests at the studio. 

Scarlett's, was outraged. She was too 
much the lady to play the minx that 
was Scarlett. Miss Shearer grandly 
informed her fans that of course she 
would not stoop to such brazen fol- 
de-rol, and the trial balloon deflated 
as fast as it had risen. Joan 
Crawford was mentioned, fleet- 
ingly. Selznick toyed with the idea of 
casting Tallulah Bankhead — she had 
not yet become the boozy, exhibi- 
tionistic caricature of later years — 
and the stage star dashed to a flight 
from New York after her Saturday 
night performance in Reflected 
Glory, and was grounded by a storm 

Selznick to imagine. Selznick first 
spoke to Ronald Colman, the suave 
English star of Tale of Two Cities 
and Prisoner of Zenda. If the accent 
problem could be licked, Selznick 
thought Colman could make a go of 
it. And Colman was already under 
contract to Selznick International; 
money could be saved. But Colman 
proved too effete. More names 
appeared on the roster as Selznick 
and Cukor puzzled through the star 
system. Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn 
and the unattainable Gable. Cooper 
was signed with Sam Goldwyn who 
wouldn't lend him to Selznick for the 

part. The list narrowed. By January 
of 1937 Selznick was writing to a 
colleague, "One of our strongest 
possibilites for the lead in Gone With 
the Wind is Errol Flynn." Warner 
Brothers offered Selznick a package 
deal —Errol Flynn for Rhett and 
Bette Davis for Scarlett. Selznick 
was ready to buy it, but Bette, true 
to herself as always, decided that no 
matter how much she coveted the 
role of Scarlett, she couldn't play 
opposite Flynn ; he wasn't good 
enough in her opinion. Attain the 
unattainable Gable, fate seemed to 
insist. So in 1938 Selznick visited his 
wife's father. He left the meeting 
with Gable locked up, but he was 
forced to surrender much to obtain 
his big-eared star. M-G-M got the 
right to distribute the film and fully 
half of the future profits from the 
venture. Unfortunately, no one had 
bothered to consult Gable, and 
Gable was fit to be tied: "I was 
scared when I discovered that I had 
been cast by the public, I felt that 

every reader would have a different 
idea as to how Rhett should be 
played on the screen, and I didn't see 
how I could please everybody." A 
$100,000 bonus soon changed 
Gable's mind; he needed cash to buy 
a divorce so he could marry the 
lovely, blonde mad-cap, Carole 
Lombard. The first of the leads was 
cast; the public was delighted. 

Scarlett still proved elusive. More 
than 1,400 women were interviewed 
and filmed; 59 actresses made full- 
scale tests at the studio. Lana 
Turner, Paulette Goddard, Kath- 

Norma Shearer was announced as a possible 
Scarlett. The public was outraged. 

was not quite so difficult a task. But 
a Twelve Oaks, al fresco picnic it 
was not. Almost from the first, 
Selznick and Cukor had decided on 
Leslie Howard ; it was virtually type 
casting for the actor who had 
specialized in portraying sensitive, 
articulate aristocrats. But, unexpec- 
tedly, Howard was sick and tired of 
being sensitive and aristocratic. "1 
haven't the slightest intention of 
playing another weak, watery 
character such as Ashley Wilkes. I've 
played enough ineffectual characters 
already." Selznick began testing 
other actors. Lew Ayres, star of All 
Quiet on the Western Front, wanted 

the part. Melvyn Douglas was pro- 
posed. Robert Young, Ray Milland, 
Shepherd Strudwick, Richard Carl- 
son, Selznick: "I am as depressed 
about the Ashley situation as I am 
about Scarlett and Melanie..." Even 
his first choice for Ashley no longer 
pleased him : "If we don't find a new 
Ashley, I suppose our best possibili- 
ties, depressing as it seems, are Leslie 
Howard and Melvyn Douglas. All 
we have to do is line up a complete 
cast of such people as Hepburn and 
Leslie Howard, and we can have a 
lovely picture for release eight years 
But schedules were already being 

arine Hepburn, Joan Bennett were 
considered. Even Lucille Ball, then a 
contract player at RKO — a studio 
she later purchased with her J Love 
Lucy money — read for the part of 
Scarlett. Miss Ball drove through a 
Southern California cloudburst to 
her reading. Soaked, she waited for 
Selznick, studying a script she had 
spread out on a low coffee table. 
Emoting in her best cornpone 
accent, she slipped to her knees to 
get a better look at her lines, and 
was surprised when Selznick walked 
in and said, according to Bob 
Thomas in Selznick, "That was a 
very good reading, Miss Ball. Please 
go on." It wasn't until after she had 
read all three of her scenes that she 
realized she had played the entire 
audition on her knees. Jean Arthur, 
Loretta Young, Ann Sheridan were 
tested. Still no Scarlett to inflame the 
heart of Rhett Butler and capture 
the imagination of the public. 

Casting Ashley Wilkes, scion of 
Twelve Oaks and Scarlett's first love, 

The public wanted Gable but he 
was signed to MGM. Errnl Flynn 
was strongly considered, but tost 
out eventually. At bottom right. 
Leslie Howard specialized in 
playing roles like Ashley Wilkes, 
sensitive and aristocratic. 

**. * 

"David, I want you to meet Scarlett O'Hara," Vivien Leigh, flames lighting her 
face, stood before him. 

Selznick toyed with the idea oj 
ting Tallulah Bankhead as the 
\ Southern Belle. J 

set. Filming could not be delayed 
much longer. Under the terms of 
Gable's contract, Selznick had to 
start shooting no later than February 
15, 1939. And so, depressing or not, 
late in 1938 Selznick admitted he 
could do no better for Ashley than 
his original choice. How then, to 
convince the balky Briton? Money 
was not the answer. But Selznick 
knew that Howard's true ambition 
lay in what the actor thought were 
more creative fields — journalism, 

fiction writing, film production — 
and the canny Hollywood business 
man made an offer the English 
aesthete could not refuse. Howard 
could be associate producer on a 
later Selznick film, Intermezzo — if 
he agreed to play Ashley. 

Half of the stellar quartet Selznick 
needed for his masterpiece was 
sewed up. And, still, no perfect 
Scarlett was ready to beguile the 
Tarleton twins in the opening shot of 
the film. David Selznick had not, 
however, let his casting difficulties 
damage his sense of humor. One 
story, perhaps apocryphal, has it 
that David and his agent brother 
Myron invited the front-running 
candidates to a grand dinner party 
at Myron's home in the mountains 
near Lake Arrowhead. A bus 
bearing wines, an orchestra and 
lavish hors d'oeuvres picked up the 
ladies, not one of whom knew that 
the other stars were also in the 
running for Scarlett, at David's 
home to ferry them in style to the 
gala. As Bob Thomas tells it, "All of 
the Scarletts appeared for dinner in 
their lovliest gowns, and the gay 
laughter resounded through the 
towering pines. But then the laugh- 
ter turned hollow when one or two 
of the famous actresses studied the 

amused faces of David and Myron. 
A glance around the gathering 
revealed the nature of the brothers' 
jest. The word quickly spread, and 
the frivolity turned into rancorous 
indignation." By Thanksgiving of 
1938 Selznick had cut the field to six 
actresses: Katharine Hepburn, Jean 
Arthur, Joan Bennett, Loretta 
Young, Paulette Goddard and a 
relative newcomer, Doris Jordan. 
Katharine Hepburn refused to test: 
"If you don't know whether I can act 
by now, you never will!" she told 
Selznick. She was out of the 
running. Paulette Goddard's tests 
were good. Loretta Young's weren't 
quite what Selznick wanted ; she 
was dropped from the list. Doris 
(Continued on page 27) 

e Manener tested jor the role. 
She lost the part, but gained a new 
\jiame— Susan Hauward. 


By Jay Acton 

"I'm going to remember this day for a long time. " 

On May 2, 1939 the longest 
playing streak in baseball his- 
tory came to an end. Lou 
Gehrig, the great first baseman of 
the New York Yankees who was 
batting an anemic .143, removed 
himself from the lineup ending a 
consecutive string of games that 
stretched back some fourteen seasons. 

Gehrig's remarkable and probably 
never to be equalled feat of 2130 
games was over. 

Gehrig entered the hospital for 
tests shortly after that. He had not 
been feeling well for sometime. His 
timing was off and he had had diffi- 
culty with his coordination. He had 
trouble hitting the ball out of the 

infield and his fielding prowess, once 
the pride of the Yankees, was only a 
shadow of his former ability. 

Six weeks later the doctors at the 
Mayo Clinic diagnosed the ailing 
Gehrig as having a form of infantile 
paralysis. Gehrig returned to the 
Yankees and spent the remainder of 
the season riding the bench as a non- 


playing captain. He knew and the 
Yankees knew that it would be his 
last season. 

To honor "The Iron Horse" the 
Yankees scheduled a "Lou Gehrig 
Appreciation Day" for July 4, 1939 
with ceremonies to be held between 
games of a doubleheader against the 
Washington Senators. 

On a day when 250,000 were 
visiting the 1939 New York World's 
Fair, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia 
was dedicating a housing project in 
Brooklyn, and President Franklin 
Roosevelt was urging the Senate to 
overturn the arms embargo it had 
voted against nations at war, over 
61,000 loyal Yankee fans had assem- 
bled in The House That Ruth Built 
to say goodbye to the Sultan of 
Swat's longtime teammate, the-man 
who hit cleanup behind Ruth for so 
many years. 

The day got off to a rather desul- 
ory start as the Yankees lost the first 

Mayor F. H. LaGuardia greeting 
Gehrigon "Lou Gehrig Day" at Yankee 
Stadium, July 4, 1939. In the 
background are former 
members of the Yankee teams. 
Babe Until is seen in white suit. 
cl»)i»itmhis hands, at left. 

game to the Senators 3-2. However, 
this did not dampen the spirit of the 
large crowd who had come to pay 
their respects to Gehrig. 

As soon as the first game was over 
and the players left the field, a dozen 
men, soberly attired in the best 
fashions of the day, made their way 
from the Yankee dugout on the first 
base side of the infield. These dis- 
tinguished-looking men, whose mien 
made them seem more like bankers 
and businessmen than anything else, 
were Gehrig's former teammates, 
including the nucleus of the 
powerful 1927 club which many 

contend was the best baseball team 
of all time. 

During the 1927 season Ruth hit 
his legendary 60 home runs. He 
drew a larger salary— $80,000— 
than the President of the United 
States. Ruth remained unfazed 
when the fact was called to his 
attention. "Why not?" he is reported 
to have said, "I had a better year 
than he did." 

The 1927 season was Gehrig's 
third full season with the Yankees 
(for which he received $7,500). He 
hit 52 home runs, second only to 
Ruth's 60, knocked in 175 runs to 
Ruth's 164 and he hit .373. to Ruth's 
.356. Gehrig was named the league's 
Most Valuable Player and he and 
Ruth led the Yankees to a four game 
sweep (the first time it had ever been 
done) over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 
the World Series. 

As the aging ex-Yankee warriors 
crossed the first-base line most of the 

Baseball would never see his like again. The Iron Horse was dead at 37. 

crowd recognized them and were on 
their feet cheering. Captain Suther- 
land's Seventh Regiment Marching 
band provided the music as the 
group made its way to the speaker's 
platform that had been setup. 

There was the already immortal 
Ruth who had retired four years 
previouslv. Outfielder Bob Muesel 
who had 'hit .337 on that 1927 team 
had come all the way from his home 
in California. Wait Hoyt, who had 
won 22 games for the team that 
season was there. 

Other teammates included Wally 
Schang, Benny Bengough, Tony 
Lazzeri, Jumping Joe Dugan, Mark 
Koenig, Bob Shawkey and Herb 
Pen nock. 

Two former teammates were 
more closely connected to Gehrig's 
exploits. Wally Pipp, had been the 
regular Yankee first baseman until 
that fateful day in 1925 when he 
asked to sit out a game because of a 
headache. "Anyone have an aspi- 
rin?" he asked his mates. The answer 
to his entreaty is not known but for 
the next fourteen seasons until the 
onset of his own tragic illness Gehrig 
was the Yankee first baseman. 
Deacon Everett Scott, the ex-Yankee 
shortstop, was the man who had his 
own consecutive playing streak top- 
pled by Gehrig. 

The 1927 Yankees strolled into the 
outfield where they raised the World 
Series banner they had won in such 
style from the Pirates some thirteen 
seasons earlier. Belatedly joining 
them was the only member of the 
team still in a Yankee uniform. Earle 
Combs had been an outfielder who 
hit .356 that season. Now he was a 
Yankee coach. 

Gehrig's former teammates then 
returned to the infield, where they 
were joined by the present Yankee 
and Senator teams who ringed the 
diamond. The old Yankees were 

Then the crowd grew quiet in 
anticipation as Gehrig slowly made 
his way to the gathering. The clap- 
ping began in the outer reaches of 
the stadium and soon the thunderous 
ovation rocked the grandstand . 
Gehrig stood quietly, head bowed, a 
wan smile on his face. 

When the cheering died down, 
the presentation of gifts began. His 

teammates presented him with a 
silver trophy, a foot and a half high 
with the following verse inscribed 
upon it : 

We've been to the wars together, 
We took our joes as they came. 
And always you were the leader, 
And ever you played the game. 

Idol of cheering millions, 

Records are yours by the sheaves, 

Iron of frame they hailed you, 

Decked you with laurel leaves. 

But higher than that we hold you, 

We who have known you best, 

Knowing the way you came through 

Every human test. 

Let this be a silent token, 

Of lasting friendship's gleam, 

And all that we've left unspoken, 

Your pah of the Yankee team. 

The presentation was made to 
Gehrig by manager Joe McCarthy 
who also was at Gehrig's elbow 
during the ceremony to support him 
when the emotional impact of the 
event threatened to overwhelm him. 

Mayor LaGuardia, fresh from his 
housing dedication, extended the 
city's thanks for Gehrig's achieve- 
ments and * concluded his speech: 
"You are the greatest prototype of 

good sportsmanship. Lou, we're 
proud of you. "Postmaster General 
James Farley also saluted the striken 
first baseman: "For generations to 
come, boys who play baseball will 
point with pride to your record." 

Finally the time came for Gehrig 
to address the huge throng. Tears 
filled his eyes which he kept firmly 
fastened on the ground. After a few 
moments, he began to speak, slowly 
and evenly. 

He thanked the fans and then he 
invoked a litany of baseball figures 
past and present; the late Colonel 
Jacob Rupert, owner of the Yankees, 
who had signed him fresh out of 
Columbia; his first manager, the 
late Miller Huggins; and his Yankee 
teammates, past and present. 

"What young man," he asked, 
"wouldn't give anything to mingle 
with such men for a single day as I 
have for all these years. You've been 
reading about my bad break for 
weeks now. But today 1 think I am 
the luckiest man alive. I now feel 
much more than ever that I have 
much to live for." 

Gehrig stepped back from the 
microphone and began to weep. 
Ruth stepped forward to comfort 
him and took the microphone in 
hand. He recalled memories of hap- 
pier days. In his inimitable, bluster - 
(Continued on page 27) 



By David Tahlaquah 

The great American Art was 
born, it appears, at the Winter 
Garden Theater in 1922. It 
was an immediate success and was 
credited by some to be the salvation 
of "burlesque" which was, until the 
strip came along, variously defined 
as a broad play in the classical sense 
based upon ridicule and exaggera- 
tion and— especially in the US — as a 
variety show with bawdy sketches. 
When the strip tease was introduced, 
the whole concept of burlesque was 
changed. No longer were the 
comedy teams in the burlesque show 
the big attraction. The main show 
now were the burlesque queens, 
who would prance around the stage 
behind feathers or bubbles to cries of 
"Take it off, take it all off!" 

In a historical sense, 1922 was 
certainly not the first strip tease act. 
Cleopatra used an effective version 
of the tease when she was unrolled 
from an oriental rug in front of 
Caesar and got Egypt. There was 
Salome and her dance of the seven 
veils, which got her John the Bap- 
tist's head on a plate. And De Lorelei 
sat on a rock in the Rhine and caused 

But in America, the strip was 
performed for more mundane 
reasons — fun and profit. No coun- 
tries, no heads, no shipwrecks. One 
of the most succsssful of the early 
strippers was Sally Rand, the fan 
dancer who livened up the 1933 
Chicago World's Fair, and the 
bubble dancer who popped a few at 
the 1934 fair. 

A brief seminar on 
Applied Sensual 

Sally became famous with her 
fan "dance at the 1933 World's Fair 
in Chicago, but in 1934, she made a 
new bid for fame at the Fair without 
the fan. She danced with nothing 
between her and the audience but a 
six foot bubble, and sometimes the 
bubble floated away as bubbles do. 
It was reported in April of 1974 
that the 70 year old Miss Rand 
would appear on the stage of the 
Music Center in the same basic 
format that she made famous in the 
30s. She reported that she kept in 
shape by "streaking daily." If she did 
appear, no report of the event 
reached the press. 

Opposite page. Sally Rand holds aloft 
her famous bubble at the 1934 World's 
Fair which had replaced her fans from 
the precious year, shown right. 

w?i& ! 


The most famous name of 
all in the world of strip- 
ping is that of Gypsy Rose 

Fran Sinatra, Dee Pontius, Jo Lynn, 
Peeler Lawford, Toni Curtis, Phil 
Silvers, Pinky Lee, Joe Pule, Jay C. 
Flippen, Georgia Southern — these 
were all names used by strippers. 
But perhaps the most famous name 
of all is that of Gypsy Rose Lee 
who is reputed to have once said : "I 
never put off tomorrow what I can 
put off today." 

After a sojourn in the films under 
the name of Louise Hovick, Gypsy 
Rose Lee returned to her "art of 
undressing" in San Francisco. 
During her long and distinguished 
career, Gypsy wrote mystery stories, 
stripped, appeared in plays and 
movies and eventually captured the 
eyes and ears of the world with her 
book Gypsy which became both a 
successful play and movie. 

Gypsy in 1941 (bottom left) and in 1936, 
shown in her Beaux Arts Bail costume 
for that ijear. 

' The British didn't really get to join 
the fun until fifteen years later. 
Diana Raye, 19, was an American 
strip-teaser who appeared in April of 
1937 at the Victorian Palace 
Vaudeville Theater. From behind a 
slightly transparent curtain, with 
the dimmest of blue lights playing on 
the ink-dark stage, Miss Raye 
appeared to the audience. She 
smilingly threw a voluminous 
chiffon cape back from her shoulders 
and then, making rapidly for the 
wings, took off a split skirt and 
showed her thigh at the exit. 

That was the signal for the 
audience to applaud and Diana 
would flutter back in for additional 
stripping. But the British didn't 
know what they were supposed to 
do — according to the rules of strip- 
ping as had been worked out in the 
States— so there was a somewhat 
embarrassing, silent pause. Not 
really knowing what to do, Diana 
finally wandered back onto the 
stage. The dim blue lights went even 
dimmer and Diana dropped the 
front of her dress revealing a thick 
net foundation covering her body, 

Diana Raye, who introduced the 
the British in 1937. Jolly good! 


which was heavily splattered with 
bright, glittering spangles. 

The critics in England termed her. _. 
act as "More tease than strip." >W^ a 

It wasn't until 1957, when stripping 
was on its way out in the States that 
the strip was exported to Paris. It 
was not a novelty for a nude girl to 
appear on the stage in France; they 
had done so for many years, but the 
slow strip was a new element. And it 
caused the Gallic brows and hearts 
to flutter. Strict rules were set down 
for the strippers: 

1. There could be no partners. 

2. The girl could not hold an ob- 
ject (other than her own gar- 
ments) as she disrobes. 

So much for Gay Paree. 

There has even been a College of 
Strip Tease — The Pink Pussycat. 
Professor Sally Marr who, among 
other things, was fifty-two years old 
and the mother of Lenny Bruce.ran 
the school. The charge was $100.00 
for the ten session curriculum. One 
of the required courses was "The 
History & Theory of the Striptease 
and the Psychology of Inhibition." 
The majors included Applied Sen- 
ual Communications, Dynamic 
.mmary, and Pelvis Rotation. 


\ \ Blaze Starr, Baltimore's famed, fiery burlesque queen— and writer. 

There have been a lot of followers of 
the strip-tease— or the burlesque as 
it is more politely called — among 
them it appears was former Vice- 
President Spiro Agnew. According to 
Jack Anderson, Blaze Starr — the 
famed, fiery burlesque queen — 
acknowledged that Agnew was a 
"steady customer" at her Baltimore 
strip joint, the Two O'Clock Club, 
during Agnew's county executive 
days. "She recalls him as a quiet man 
who sat in a corner, minding his 
own business." 

In a footnote to the Agnew story 
in his column, Anderson elaborated 
on the story: "We obtained a draft 
copy of an autobiography Blaze 
Starr is writing for the Praeger pub- 
lishing house. She doesn't mention 
Agnew, but recounts a romantic 
interlude with Philadelphia's law- 
and-order Mayor Frank Rizzo. . . . 
Reached at his office in Philadel- 
phia, Mayor Rizzo fumed that the 
story 'absolutely is not true.' The 
publishers told us that they gave 
Blaze Starr a lie detector test about 
the Rizzo revelations before accept- 
ing her manuscript. She passed the 
test completely, they said." 

jjrnnue orphibo nnnic 
Tim ©riot Timi ujrrp 

Bv Bob Abel 


..R-a-co *W Thoosit sez ya can't go home going all the way home — that is, 
KJ^ggj \\^ a gfl'n? Or, more properly, back to her place of origin. She's 
?moo&ht who says you can't go home gone back to her locale of March 

again? Thomas Wolfe, meet Little 1936, a small town called Butternut 
Orphan Annie. . . . and, more specifically, the home of 

Well, truth to tell, Annie isn't Jack Boot. Mr. Boot is an elderly 

cobbler who befriends Annie, who is » _ 
on the run as per usual, and gives R/ 
her shoes and shelter, The friendship 
blossoms — "Yesterday the dam of 
restraint broke and Annie and Jack 
Boot said what was in their hearts" 

Leapin' Lizards — a comic strip first! The strip would aim to progress 
by looking backwards. 

— and Annie becomes Boot's "niece." 
But no Lolitasque arrangements 
here, dirty minds, 'cause Annie is 
there to help defeat the bad guys and 
leave Jack Boot in better shape at the 
end of the sequence than when she 
first met him. She is, after all, the 
Gray Bird of Happiness. 

When Harold Gray, creator of 
Little Orphan Annie, began the strip 
in 1924, his newsprint moppet em- 
barked on adventures which were to 
make her as popular as any young 
lady in the land — "twinkle toes" 
Temple not excepted. Annie would 
hitchhike along the main highway 
hetween Good and Evil and, despite 
the travails of her journey through 
time, never grow a day older or lose 
her sense of innocence. Her readers 
would grow older, but they, too, 
would retain a kind of innocence 
about Annie and her adventures, 
and for many years Little Orphan 
Annie ranked only behind Blondie 
and Dick Tractj in popularity. 

Naturally enough, then, when 
Harold Gray died in 1968, the 
Chicago Tribune-New York News 
Syndicate, which distributes Annie, 
took steps to continue the strip, as 
has been done in a number of cases. 
However, the successors to Gray 
weren't able to maintain the strip's 
popularity, and subscribing papers 
began dropping off, from around 
250 at the time of Gray's death to 
200 at the time earlier this year 
when the syndicate decided there 
was only one direction to go with 
Annie — backwards. 

Leapin' lizards — a comic strip 
First! The strip would aim to progress 
by looking backwards — more pre- 

cisely, to a time in the mid-1930s 
when Little Orphan Annie proofs 
were available and worthy of good, 
uninterrupted reproduction. 

Little Orphan Annie had first ap- 
peared at a time — the decade be- 
tween 1915 and 1925— when the 
newspaper syndicates were proving 
themselves indispensable adjuncts to 
newspapers, with only the New York 
Times and Wall Street Journal 
holding out against including comic 
strips as part of the refreshment pro- 
vided along with the news. Annie 
was one of the last of a famous group 
of strips — Abie the Agent, The 

'To artist Gray, Daddy 
and Annie are sales- 
men of the American 
Dream, the 'pioneer 
spirit' ..." Time 

Gumps, Barney Google, Thimble 
Theatre, Gasoline Alley, Tillie the 
Toiler, Harold Teen, The Nebbs, 
Boots and Her Buddies, Felix the 
Cat, Moon Mullins, Toots and Cas- 
per and Betty— to win enormous 
favor with the American public, re- 
flecting its mores and quiet concerns 
(i.e., familial happiness, business 
success, the emerging woman) and 
becoming part of the American 
language. Indeed, the case may be 

made that the leading characters in 
these strips were among the most 
famous Americans of their time, 
joined not long thereafter by Buck 
Rogers, Blondie and Dagwood, Dick 
Tracy, Li'l Abner, Terrv (of the 
Pirates) and Mandrake. 

What's intriguing, therefore, is 
that Annie of the empty eye sockets 
(in the 1940s, she briefly sported 
pupils, but they suffered newsprint 
reproduction badly, often fogging 
up in the process), has far outlived 
most of that earlier peer group, with 
only Popeye (Thimble Theatre), 
Moon Mullins, Barney Google and 
Skeezix and his family (Gasoline 
Alley) remaining as part of our pop- 
ular culture. 

Annie first appeared in 1924 in 
response of New York Daily News 
publisher Joseph Patterson's request 
for a new strip featuring a little girl. 
Gray, who had done his comic strip 
apprenticeship as assistant to Sydney 
Smith on The Gumps (possibly the 
strip most concerned with business 
success in the history of American 
comics), gave newspaper readers a 
strip starring a young girl at a time 
when some forty other strips were 
headlining little boys, and Patter- 
son's reverse sexism immediately hit 
the spot with readers. The Trium- 
phant Trio, Annie, Daddy War- 
bucks and Sandy, whose canine 
vocabulary seldom extended beyond 
"Arfl" or "Grrrrl", began their 
march through comic strip time, 
later joined by The Asp and Punjab, 
with all of them hewing constantly 
to Gray's fireside formula for suc- 
cess: "Keep your characters in hot 
water all the time but don't have it 

Polly and Her Pals 

By Cliff Sterrett 

Toot^aatj. £ as P e ^ 

By Jimmy Murphy 

hot enough to scald their courage." 
Annie was really the first success- 
ful adventure strip — a combination 
of melodrama and fantasy, really — 
but what is perhaps more interesting 
is that almost from the start the strip 
also gave readers steady doses of 
Gray's home-spun brand of political 
conservatism along with the cease- 
less wanderings of Annie and Sandy 
(as one wry observer has observed, 
she "has never abandoned either her 
puberty or her dog"). Gray grew up 
in Kansas, a descendant of the 
earliest Americans, and in a 1951 
interview with Editor and Publisher 
he espoused a personal philosophy 
which would have done the Puritans 
proud. "There are eternal Verities 
easy enough for all to learn," de- 
clared the ex-Kansas farm boy. "Tell 
the truth; save your money to be 
independent; in short, 'keep your 
nose tidy!"' He also reiterated that 
he disliked reformers "of any sort" 
and that he just wanted to express 
life as he "thought it ought to be." 

Okay, fair enough, but Gray's af- 
fection for the past indicated to some 
observers that he had trouble living 
in the present.. As one critic noted: 
"Only Harold Gray persists in cam- 
paigning against the weather; he 

hasn't liked the political climate of 
this country since 1932." 

Is this unfair? I think not. In his 
1959 tribute to the comics— a hand- 
some book entitled Comic Art in 
America — Stephen Becker describes 

It ain't her body, that's 
for sure. So what has 
been the secret of 
Annie's success and 
longevity on the comics 

Little Orphan Annie with delicious 
precision. Gray's strip, he writes, 
"takes us into a world of fantasy, 
where good always triumphs, and 
then identifies specific modern 
events and theories . . . with the 
good and evil of his dream world." I 
also invite you to consider a far more 
elaborate appraisal of the strip, this 
provided in a 1955 Harpers article. 
In commenting on the use of myth in 
Anrtie, the author of the article, 

Ignatius G. Mattingly, compared 
Annie's continuing search for Daddy 
Warbucks to Telemachus' search for 
Odysseus, "with whom Daddy 
Warbucks has much in common." 

Now Warbucks has been said at 
different times to resemble the late 
Chicago Tribune publisher, Colonel 
Robert McCormick (the Colonel and 
Captain Joe Patterson had been 
business buddies on the Tribune), 
and also Dwight D. Eisenhower, but 
Mattingly is alone, surely, in ele- 
vating Warbucks to the same 
Olympian league as Odysseus, who 
was a great warrior without the kind 
of limitless bankroll wielded by 
Daddy in his defense of the Good 
Way of Life. 

The analogy, to be sure, is merely 
literary device. "This quest myth," 
Mattingly wrote, "serves as the basis 
for an allegory. Daddy Warbucks is 
Capitalism; and more particularly, 
Capitalism of the old-fashioned type 
practiced by the Jew of Malta, 
Commodore Vanderbuilt, and Al 
Capp's General Bullmoose : what 
might be called Bird-Dog Capital- 
ism. Warbucks has vast holdings, 
quasi-magic powers [in the persons 
of Punjab and The Asp], a Nietzsch- 
ean contempt for regularly consti- 

Tim TyjggV Luck 

By Lym Youftg 

tuted authority, and apparent 
immortality, like a corporation, or 
indeed. Capital itself." 

For that matter, so long as we're 
enjoying some Grecian yearnings for 
a bit, let's not ignore the possibility 
of a subliminal, but five-decade-long 
Oedipal relationship between Daddy 
and Annie. At least authors Terry 
Southern and Mason Hoffenberg- 
didn't, as when they ended their 
camp erotic epic, Candy, with the 
susceptible heroine, Candy Darling, 
enjoying the lay of her life with a 
mysterious male benefactor. How- 
ever, the mystery ends when the 
book does ... and "COOD GRIEF 

These paternalistic possibilities 
aside — and I must warn you that 
there are also busybodies in the pris- 
tine land of ours who sniff a carnal 
alliance between Annie and the 
prurient pup, rather than Pere War- 
bucks! What is manifestly certain is 
that controversy has shadowed 
Annie most of her life with no less 
fealty than the steadfast Sandy. 

Some highlights : 

In 1934, Richard L. Neuberger— 
later a United States Senator — broke 
a lance in defense of the New Deal 
when he attacked Little Orphan 
Annie for its "crusade to create 
martyrs out of millionaires and un- 
scrupulous demagogues out of 
vigilant district attorneys and mili- 
tant senators." His article, entitled 
"Hooverism in the Funnies," ap- 
peared in the liberal New Republic 
and accused Gray of doing "heroic 
service in the cause of Andrew W. 
Mellon, Samuel Instill, and other 
persecuted philanthropists." A se- 
quence in the strip, Neuberger 
pointed out, was devoted to the 
unjust trial of Warbucks for tax 
evasion — the district attorney, Phil 
O. Buster, tells a confidant, "War- 
bucks is innocent, but we've faked 

enough evidence to convict him . . . 
The public is falling for our line of 
bunk." At the same time utilities 
magnate Unsull was awaiting trial 
for the collapse of his business 
empire. Even by contemporary 
comic strip standards, the Annie 
sequence was very heavy-handed in 
its depiction of American jurispru- 

So if nothing else, the 
next few years ought to 
be secure against 
Annie's developing a 
bust-line, or Sandy's 
acquiring a lady friend. 

dence, and in 1945 another trial 
sequence caused the National 
Lawyer's Guild to accuse Gray of 
"seeking to undermine faith in the 
American concepts of justice. . 

Fifteen months after the Neu- 
berger article appeared in its pages, 
The New Republic published an 
editorial entitled "Facism in the 
Funnies'" and lamenting the "propa- 
ganda" context in Gray's strip, 
which included "a continued attack 
on the New Deal, together with a 
virulent denunciation of the organ- 
ized labor movement." The object of 
the magazine's scorn and anger was 
a sequence in which a group of 
politicians — Claude Claptrap, Hor- 
atio Hack, Phineas Plunder and 
Byron Bunkum were among the 
alliterative lot of villains — allied 
themselves with union organizers 
against the good works of Daddy 

A few weeks later, and a new 
Annie yarn in the telling, it was The 
Nations turn to take offense. "Per- 
haps the Society for the Prevention 
of Cruelty to Children should take 
her under control until her syndi- 
cators, Hearst and the Chicago 
Tribune, can demonstrate their 
moral fitness to be the guardians of a 
child as impressionable and dull as 
Annie," the magazine declared. 

In late 1943 the Louisville Cour- 
ier-Journal joined the list of papers 
which have dropped the strip over 
the years because— in this instance — 
"propaganda against gasoline ra- 
tioning was being smuggled into 
comic strips in the guise of entertain- 
ment." Gray told Newsweek: ". . .1 
get my ideas without pressure from 
anybody . . . though I will say this, 
I'd be willing to take on a lot of 
McCormick's enemies." In August of 
the following year, when Daddy 
Warbucks was reintroduced after a 
long absence from the strip — despite 

"Really big business works with government, Annie! If they didn't work 
together, pretty soon big business and good 
government would both go out of business with one loud crash!" 

the protests of Mollie Slott, manager 
of the Chicago Tribune-New York 
News Syndicate — Gray explained 
the event in these terms: "The situ- 
ation changed last April . . . Roose- 
velt died then." 

In 1956 the highly respected 
Catholic publication, America, ran 
an article entitled "Orphan Annie 
Must Go!" The author, Stephen P. 
Ryan, Chairman of the English De- 
partment at Xavier University, New 
Orleans, lamented the strip's "brass 
knuckled Christianity," at the same 
time getting off a few good left 
crosses of his own. Considering the 
performance of Annie's guardian 
and patron saint, the inconstant 
Daddy Warbucks, Ryan observed: 
"The only thing wrong with this 
paragon, apart from his hopelessly 
false philosophy, is that, despite his 
great financial acumen, he is too 
stupid to keep track for more than 
two or three weeks at a time of a 
child he presumably loves." . 

There's lots more, but suffice to 
time capsule ourselves to 1962, when 
the distinguished journalist and 
critic, Ben H. Bagdikian, wrote a 
New Republic piece ripping into 
Annie on many fronts. "Still champ 
as political pioneer is Little Orphan 
Annie," he declared in an article 
dealing with comics and the Cold 
War. "She has been fighting democ- 
racy, social welfare, high taxes, 
universal suffrage, reform, educa- 
tion, culture, and human love for 
years." And how is the good fight 
waged? With good old-fashioned 
violence : "Differences of opinion are 

commonly settled by mayhem . I 
once counted seventy-five men killed 
or maimed in a period of three 
months, all done in with patriotic 
righteousness." And as for the strip's 
treatment of our Cold War counter- 
parts, Bagdikian found "another 
Birchist message of idiocy and 
treason in government, of spies 

What is manifestly cer- 
tain is that controversy 
has shadowed Annie 
most of her life with no 
less fealty than the stead- 
fast Sandy. 

everywhere, and of fighting straw 
enemies with magic..." Still and 
all, Bagdikian managed to close his 
article on a note of wry wrath: 
"Hark, hark, Secretary McNamara, 
I hope they're not reading the 
funnies at the Pentagon." 

In the interest of fair play, I 
myself once analyzed ten weeks of 
Mr. Gray's strip, and I'll let the 
characters themselves give you the 
facts of life. 

Daddy Warbucks : "Really big 
business works with government, 
Annie! If they didn't work together, 
pretty soon big business and good 

government would both go out of 
business, in one loud crash!" 

Annie: "Br-r! Sure don't want 

Nope, a lot of us don't want that, 
and mindful of the soap box Gray 
often mounted in his strip, the 
syndicate will not be offering "non- 
action areas" in its reissued se- 
quences. For instance, back in the 
fall of 1936 when President Roose- 
velt was running for a second term, 
against Alf Landon, the strip began 
sounding like Alf Landon, but this 
fall neither Annie nor any of her 
friends will sing Alfie's tune. 

"Otherwise, we're letting Harold 
Gray's philosophy hang out," says a 
high syndicate official. "In effect, it 
was Horatio Alger who was his 
hero. ..." 

Ah, the eternal verities spring 
eternal, don't they . . . except in this 
case one of them is Nostalgia, which 
the syndicate is marketing avidly, 
along with the Harold Gray re-runs. 
And we have seen the past as future 
— and it works! Some 80 papers, 
many of them former subscribers, 
have signed up for the strip since the 
1936 sequences were offered. 

Because of the smaller space being 
given to comic strips on the nation's 
newspaper pages these days, the 
strip is being relettered, but other- 
wise we are in a time machine, 
heading into the future and back 
into the past at the same time. 

And poor Annie, no matter how 
long she labors in the moral employ 
of Harold Gray, will never, ever, 
collect Social Security. . . . jfcfH 


They Can't Stop a Teen 



By John R.Williams 

Into the empty bowls of a hungry nation, FDR poured some alphabet soup- 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was cam- 
paigning hard for the presidency 
against the incumbant Herbert 
Hoover when he spoke those words. 
Times were hard, the depression was 
in full swing, and the people had lost 
confidence in both their government 
and themselves . The future was 
something to fear. . .until FDR 
came along and told the people that 
the only thing there was to fear was 
fear itself. There was going to be a 
new deal for the American people, 
the presidential contender said. The 
people listened, believed and elected 
the charismatic politician. The New 
Deal began, based on the three Rs— 
Relief, Recovery and Reform. 

Now came the alphabet agencies: 
NRA, AAA, RA and FSA to name a 
few, It seemed a time for initials; 
even the President was know affec- 
tionately (and otherwise) as FDR— 
the New Deal personified. 

In a true sense, Hoover inaugu- 
rated the New Deal and the alpha- 
bet agencies. It was Hoover who first 
proposed the PWA (Public Works 
Administration) in his annual 
message to congress in December', 
1931. The actual enactment of the 
PWA legislation had to wait until 
the Roosevelt administration got into 

Clockwise from top left. From his desk 
in the White House, President 
Roosevelt makes a 1 934 radio speech to 
the people. An apple seller in New 
York, 11)30. A Fannworth, New 
Hampshire, CCC camp chow line, 1934. 

"Every man has right to life, and this 
means he has a right to make a 
comfortable living. He may by sloth 
or crime decline to exercise that 
right; but it may not be denied him. 
"Every man has the right to his 
own property; which means the 
right to be assured, to the fullest 
extent attainable, in the safety of his 
savings. By no other means can men 
carry the burdens of those parts of 
life which, in the nature of things, 
afford no chance of labor; child- 
hood, sickness, old. age. In all 
thought of property, this right is 
paramount; all other property rights 
must yield to it. " 

office, but Hoover gave birth to the 
idea. Another of Hoover's alpha-bits 
was the RFC (Reconstruction 
Finance Corporation) which was 
established for the purpose of direct 
governmental loans to prevent the 
further collapse of business. 

New Dealers complained later 
that the chief trouble with the RFC 
during Hoover's administration was 
that it poured money into the 
financial structure "at the top 
instead of at the bottom." What was 
really needed was a restoration of 
the purchasing power of the 
individual, not just a short term 
relief to business. 

There were other Hoover policies 
with a New Deal flavor, but Hoover 
possessed neither the flair nor the 

confidence of the people to accom- 
plish what FDR did. During their 
campaign for the presidency in 
1932, the audiences saw Hoover as a 
broken and defeated man ; his voice 
over the radio sounded weak and 
tired. Roosevelt, on the other hand, 
impressed the public everywhere 
with his confidence and charm, and 
as a radio speaker, his technique was 
unsurpassed. There was really only 
one issue in the election and that was 
the depression. Unemployment 
which had been one and a half 
million in 1929 tripled to four and a 
half million in 1930, reached eight 
million in 1931, twelve million in 

1932 and almost thirteen million in 

1933 when one worker in four was 
unable to find a job. Other millions 
were underemployed, working three 
days a week or two weeks a month in 
order to spread available work. 

These, however, are only statis- 
tics; in human terms, the depression 
meant hungry men in breadlines. It 
meant Chicago schoolteachers work- 
ing without pay for months because 
the city had no money to pay them. 
It meant farmers defending their 
lands against mortgage foreclosure 
by any means available, including 
dragging judges from their benches 
and threatening to hang them. It 
meant homeless men wandering all 
over the nation looking for work and 
riding the freights. 

But despite these dark aspects, the 

thirties were not totally a time of 

doom and gloom. Professional sports 

went on and college teams continued 


The enlistment period was for one year 
and the pay was one dollar a day . . . 

to do their best on the campus play- 
ing fields. And young people every- 
where continued to get married. 

Eventually by hook or crook, 
because of the war, or because the 
country started believing in itself 
again, the depression began to fade 
away. No small credit is due the 
alphabet agencies that FDR sowed, 
around official Washington like so 
many seeds in a newly plowed field. 
Among the best remembered ones 
are the following: 

NRAr The National Recovery Ad- 
ministration was born on June 16, 
1933 and was the principal New 

stood for "No Recovery Allowed." 
CCC; The Civilian Conservation 
Corps was signed into law on March 
31, 1933 and was a pet project of the 
President's. The purpose of the CCC 
was to set up reforestation camps in 
every section of the country to pro- 
vide work for unmarried men 
between the ages of eighteen and 
twenty-five. The US Army and the 
Forest Service jointly supervised the 
CCC, and soon had a quarter of a 
million young men at work clearing 
forests, planting trees, improving 
roads, preventing floods, and other 
such tasks The enlistment period 
was for one year and the pay was 

much to say against the CCC in its 
nine vears of existence, and one man 
went so far as to say, "It made a man 
of me, all right." 

WPA: The Works Progress Admin- 
istration was created to complement 
the PWA (Public Works Administra- 
tion). The main difference between 
the two agencies was that the PWA 
simply put up the money for projects 
and the WPA handled the rest of 
the operation. Retween 1933 and 
1939, more than six billion dollars 
and almost five billion man-hours of 
labor were invested in. the construc- 
tion of transportation facilities, 
hospitals, city halls, courthouses, 
sewage disposal plants, and educa- 
tional buildings. In addition to all 
this, the WPA was a patron of the 
arts. Unemployed artists in all fields 
were put to work on projects that 

Mrs, Roosevelt and Churchill m Quebec. 1944. New York City depression breadlines in the 1930. 

Deal answer to those who demanded 
a planned economy. In May of 1935, 
a decision of the US Supreme Court 
ceremoniously killed it. Rut in the 
two years it existed, it was probably 
the most emotionally charged of all 
the agencies. It regulated wages, 
work hours, and indirectly — prices. 
The working man greeted the 
NRA with shouts of praise, but the 
shouts from the businessmen were 
anger. "Creeping socialism" they 
said, and the Hearst newspapers 
even suggested that the initials really 

one dollar a day in addition to 
medical care and maintenance. 
Twenty-five dollars a month of the 
pay had to be allotted to dependents 
or relatives. By 1935, there were half 
a million CCC workers and it was 
regarded as a permanent American 
institution. However, on June 30, 
1942 as the Second World War 
engulfed America, the CCC was 
allowed to die for lack of congres- 
sional appropriation. 

Not even the most vehement 
opponent of the New Deal found 

paid them up to $94.40 a month. 
Among these artists was one man 
who was put to work taking a census 
of dogs in California's Monterey 
Peninsula, perhaps a questionable 
pursuit on which to waste the gov- 
ernment's money and the artist's 
time, but the artist was certainly 
worth the concern. He was later to 
become one of America's most 
famous novelists, and his first major 
novel appeared in 1939 — The 
Grapes of Wrath. His name of 
e, was John Steinbeck. |fe$H 


{Continued from page 10) 
Jordan, though her tests were good, 
slipped by the wayside. By the time 
Selznick was ready to shoot the 
burning of Atlanta, the list had 
winnowed down to three stars ; Jean 
Arthur, Joan Bennett and Paulette 

Melanie was another problem . 
Described by the vivacious Scarlett 
as "mealymouthed," there were, 
understandably, fewer stars who 
craved the part. Lesser know players 
like Dorothy Jordan, Priscilla Lane, 
Jane Bryan and actresses later to 
gain fame like Geraldine Fitzgerald 
were on the list of possibilities. But 
Selznick's break came circuitously. 
George Cukor asked Joan Fontaine 
to test for the part. Miss Fontaine, 
whose off-screen, salty sophistication 
was belied by her often meek screen 
appearance, was not about to 
protray a character described by 
Miss Mitchell as possessed of a face 
"too wide across the cheekbones, too 
pointed at the chin . . . (who) had no 
feminine tricks of allure to make 
observers forget its plainness." 
Flaying second fiddle to Scarlett was 
not a role Miss Fontaine was wild 
about. "If you want someone to play 
Melanie, I suggest you call my sis- 
ter," she said. Joan Fontaine and 
Olivia De Havilland had been, and 
would continue feuding for years 
and the recommendation was an 
insult of perfect style and cunning, 
blameless as only a skillful infighter 
could make it. What was wrong 
with recommending one's sister for a 
job? Nothing. Selznick and Cukor 
were delighted by De Havilland, but 
she was under contract to Warner 
Brothers who refused to lend her to 
play in a film some Hollywood 
experts were beginning to think 
would never be made. Joan Fon- 
taine was not, however, the only 
talented schemer in her family. Miss 
De Havilland invited Jack Warner's 
wife to dine with her at the fashion- 
able Brown Derby Bestaurant in 
Beverly Hills, where with liquid eyes 
and her undeniable talent, De 
Havilland won an ally. Warner 
relented and Selznick had his 
Melanie Hamilton. 

On December 11, 1938, Selznick 
had to burn Atlanta. Or, rather, the 

back lot at the Pathe studio where he 
needed the space to build Tara. 
Time was nearing when Gable's 
contract insisted he be put to work; 
Selznick had no choice. Studio 
technicians ran gas and water lines 
through the old sets, and carpenters 
put up false fronts of old Atlanta 
buildings. Three sets of stuntmen 
dressed as Bhett and Scarlett were 
hired and filming was to begin at 8 
o'clock. David invited his family and 
some friends to view the spectacle. 
But by 8:20 his brother had not yet 
shown up. David was forced to give 
the go-ahead; he couldn't wait. Just 
as the flames began to soar, Myron 
Selznick, half-crocked, tottered on 
to the stage accompanied by his 
client Laurence Olivier and Olivier's 
current lady love. In the midst of 
sparks and chaos, Myron Selznick 
introduced his guest, "David, I want 
you to meet Scarlett O'Hara." 
Vivien Leigh, flames lighting her 
face, met the man who would give 
her, at the beginning of her career, a 
film role that established stars had 
clawed and fought to get, Scarlett 
O'Hara, heiress to Tara. 

The new technicolor process, 
which had never before been used 
on a project of this size, created 
unheard of difficulties for lighting 
men and set designers. Scarlett's 
dresses were all wrong. The Holly- 
wood censors at first refused to let 
Rhett tell Scarlett that, "Frankly, 
my dear, I don't give a damn." They 
wanted him not to "care." But 
Selznick won his battles. Gone With 
the Wind opened in Atlanta on 
December 15, 1939, a year and four 
days after the discovery of Scarlett, 
and became one of the best-loved 
films ever released. 

On February 29, 1940, Hollywood 
held its annual orgy of self-congrat- 
ulations — Oscar night. Eight Oscars 
were awarded to Gone With The 
Wind. Perennial Bob Hope quip- 
ped : "What a wonderful thing 
this benefit for David Selznick!" And 
on this brilliant night, David Selz- 
nick's reaction, like a father whose 
child had been slighted, was fury. 
Surrounded by more Oscars than 
any picture had ever won, Selznick 
wanted to know why his picture 
hadn't won them all. Selfish though 
he may have seemed, he may have 
been right. ' Ks^H 


{Continued from page 13} 
ing style he opined that the 1927 
Yanks were a greater team than the 
present version. To this point the 
1939 Yanks had compiled a 51-16 
record, which gave them an 11 Vz 
lead' over the second place Boston 
Red Sox. "That's my opinion," he 
said, "and while Lazzeri pointed out 
to me that there are only thirteen or 
fourteen of us here, my answer is, 
shucks, it only takes nine of us to 
beat them." 

Ruth put his arm around Gehrig 
as the band played "I Love You 
Truly." There was nary a dry eye in 
the house. The New York Times 
reported the following day: "It was 
without doubt, one of the most 
touching scenes ever witnessed on a 
baseball field. 

Gehrig was so exhausted by the 
tribute that he nearly passed out in 
the Yankee clubhouse between 
games. The Yankee team physician 
ministered to him and he was able to 
resume his role as nonplaying 
captain, sitting in the dugout, for 
the second game. 

Long after the game was over and 
he and his close friend and room- 
mate Bill Dickey were walked across 
the infield. The stands which had 
been filled with cheering and 
adoring fans only hours before were 
now empty, silently surrounded 
them. Lou said softly to Dickey: 
"Bill, I'm going to remember this 
day for a long time." 

Tragically, that time would be all 
too short. Gehrig rode the bench as 
the Yankees easily won the pennant 
by 17 games and swept Cincinnati in 
four games in the Series. Gehrig 
retired at the end of that season. 

Mayor LaGuardia appointed him 
to the Parole Board and as long as he 
was able he discharged his duties 
there with his customary diligence. 
In early May of 1939, the disease 
became progressively worse. He 
stopped going to the office to 
conserve his strength. Two weeks 
later he was unable to get out of bed. 
His condition deteriorated and he 
died at his home in the Bronx on 
June 2, 1941. 

Lou Gehrig, the Iron Horse, was 
dead at 37. Baseball would never see 
his like again. f^SH 

A JfifTI€S ocnn MBUm 

By Gene Ringgold 

Late in the afternoon of Septem- 
ber 30, 1955, a silver Porsche 
sports car became, simulta- 
neously, an implement of destruc- 
tion and the springboard for a 
cinema legend unsurpassed in the 
history of Hollywood since the death 
of Rudolph Valentino. And years 
after his death. James Dean's name 
retains its original magic. 

James Byron Dean was born 
February 8, 1921 in one of the flats 
of the Green Gables, an apartment 
building on East 4th Street, in 
Marion, Indiana. His mother, 
Mildred Winslow, was a farmer's 
daughter who had a great love for 
poetry and music. Mildred was an 
adept pianist. After she married and 
her only child was born, she saw to it 

that he received violin training and 
that he learned to appreciate all the 
fine arts. Because of this the boy 
became somewhat precocious. 

His father, Winton Dean, a dental 
technician, worked for the federal 
government. In 1936 he was as- 
signed to the Sawtelle Veteran's 
Administration Hospital in Los 
Angeles. His wife and son came west 
with him. The following year Jimmy 
was enrolled in the Brentwood 
Public School. He continued with his 
violin lessons. His teachers remem- 
ber him as an apt pupil who did not 
make friends easily. Mildred Dean, 
suffering from a serious cancer 

"My mother died on me when I was nine years old! What does 
she expect me to do? Do it all by myself!" 

Sal Mineo, who played Plato in REBEL, and Dean on the ptamtariun 

before the knife fight. 

infection, was hospitalized in 1939. 
Her condition declined steadily until 
her death a few months later. This 
tragedy so shocked Jimmy that he 
vowed he would never again play 
the violin. Years later he blurted out, 
somewhat emotionally, "'My mother 
died on me when I was nine years 
old. What does she expect me to do? 
Do it all by myself? Realizing the 
extent of his son's mental anxiety, 
Winton Dean sent the boy back to 
Indiana to live with his grand- 

Rural life made him more out- 
going toward others. He was friend- 
lier and displayed more interest in 
his Fairmount classmates than he 
had towards his California associ- 
ates. Within a year he was a 
straight-A honor student and re- 
mained one through high school. He 
also took an active part in school 
sports and was an all-around crack 

He also expanded his interest to 
the school drama department. With 

some ability and a great deal of wit, 
he played the Frankenstein monster 
in a comedy Goon With the Wind, 
which his school presented with 
much success. 

In his senior high school year 
James Dean won the Indiana State 
title of Champion Debater in the 
annual Forensic League contest. His 
recitation of Dickens' The Madman 
was a theatrically effective one. He 
came on stage screaming his lines 
and working feverishly toward an 
even more dramatic conclusion — 
collapsing on stage in animal 
frenzy. The school faculty were so 
impressed that they urged Board of 
Education members to select him to 
represent Indiana in a national 
debating contest to be held that year 
in Longmont, Colorado. Dean con- 
trary to advice, reworked his original 
presentation and was eliminated 
from the debate fairly early. For 
years afterward he blamed others for 
allowing him to alter what had been 
a prize-winning presentation. 

Winton Dean had remarried, and 
he urged his son to come live with 
him while attending college. Jimmy 
entered Santa Monica City College 
as a pre-law student in the fall of '49, 
but it was soon evident that his 
interests were not in becoming an 
attorney. And it was evident too that 
his father's marriage — and years of 
separation — were insurmountable 
causes for domestic estrangement. 
Instead of living with his parents, he 
shared an apartment with another 

During school months he was a 
radio announcer for the college's FM 
station. And in the summer of 1950 
he worked as an athletic instructor 
for a local military academy. He did 
not return to Santa Monica City 
College that fall. Instead, he at- 
tended the University of California 
where he was accepted as a theatre 
arts student. He became friendly 
with William Bast, a student with 
ambitions to become a writer. Bast 
and Dean became roommates, 
sharing a Spanish style apartment 
and working together at part-time 
jobs. More than a year after Dean's 
death Bast revealed what some of 
their life together had been like in a 
biography, "James Dean" (Ballen- 
tine Books). 

A friend of Bast's, actor James 
Whitmore, then in the process of 
organizing an acting class, met Dean 
and accepted him into his group. It 
was Whitmore who incited the 
stimulus necessary to make Dean 
aware that, more than anything, he 



Abra Julie Harris 

Cal James Dean 

Adam Raymond Massey 

Aaron Richard Davalos 

Kate Jo Van Fleet 

Sheriff Conner . . Burl Ives 

Mr. Hamilton Albert Dekker 

Ann Lois Smith 

Directed bv Elia Kazan. Based on the novel 
bv John Steinbeck. Music bv Leonard 
Rosenman. Warners. 1955. 

Dean and Elizabeth Taylor 
Leslie played by Taylor. 

n GIANT. ]ett Rink played by Dean was in love 

wanted to be a good actor. Whit- 
more felt the boy possessed the 
ability to learn and the spark that is 
necessary to be a success. 

In Dean's case the spark was an 
intense spirit which attracted people 
and made them believe him a worth- 
while person. His extroversion, more 
acquired than natural— but still 
beguiling — and his wholly Ameri- 
can face presented a disarming 
portrait of a young man which was 
fascinating to the beholder. Dean 
was intriguing enough to make 
people want to know him — and help 
him. James Bellulah, son of novelist 
James Warner Bellulah and one of 
Dean's classmates, was instrumental 
in getting Dean his first professional 
acting job, This was a two minute 
commercial, produced by Jerry 
Fairbanks, in which Dean and a 
group of teenagers — including 
young Bellulah and actor Nick 
Adams — extol the pleasures of Pepsi 
Cola so refreshingly that it must still 
be one of Joan Crawford's fond 

memories. Producer Fairbanks used 
Dean again to play John the Baptist 
in a one hour television play, Hill 
Number One. Dean's performance 
was not too effective towards getting 
other TV work. 

The few radio bits he did kept him 
going for a time. Then, he started 
neglecting his school work and 
cutting classes in the desperate hope 
that the next interview would lead to 
an audition that would turn the tide. 
Finally, he dropped out of school. 

Dean felt his inability to get work 
stemmed from a belief by producers 
that he lacked talent when, actually, 
there were few jobs to be had. As 
hopeful leads turned into bitter dis- 
appointments he regarded each 
rejection as a personal affront. He 
started spending his time with a 
crowd of misfits who were ready to 
bolster his deflated ego. James Whit- 
more proved to be one of Dean's 
champions and advised him to get 
away from his parasitic pals and 
change his tactics if he still hoped to 

work at being an actor. Later, Dean 
said of Whitmore, "I owe a lot to 
him. I guess you can say he saved me 
when I got all mixed up. He told me 
I didn't know the difference between 
acting as a soft job and acting as a 
difficult art. I needed to learn these 
differences." Bill Bast helped him 
too. It was Bast who got him the job 
interview which led to his being 
hired as an usher at the CBS studio 
in Hollywood. And, through Bast, 
Dean met Rogers Brackett, a radio 
director, who put him wise to the 
ways of obtaining bit parts. 

Dean made his screen debut — as 
an eager gob — in the Dean Martin- 
Jerry Lewis comedy Sailor Beware. 
He had three lines of dialogue which 
disappeared from the film by the 
time it was released. He's merely one 
of a group of sailors in a few back- 
ground scenes. In his next film, 
Samuel Fuller's Fixed Bayonets, he 
had another background bit as a 
battle weary GI fighting in Korea 
and spoke the single line, "It's a rear 

REBEL, Dean is restrained by Corey Allen and the 

efforts Dean played bits in such 
weekly series as T-Men in Action, 
The Web, Tales oj Tomorrow, and 
Martin Kane. He also had a walk-on 
in an early Studio One. 

Directors of these tight-budgeted 
and quickly turned out dramas were 
less iriclined to share Miss Deacy's 
high opinion of Dean's capabilities. 
Accustomed to working with sea- 
soned performers who delivered a 
professional reading after a quick 
study and rehearsal, these directors 
did not have the time or the patience 
to fully explain a characterization or 
thoroughly work out the perfor- 
mance they wanted from Dean. 
Often these men, as inexperienced at 
their job as Dean was at acting, 
thought his intense determination to 
fully analyze each small part was 
more of a nuisance than an asset. 

Nor was he an Actors Studio 
favorite. Much has been made of 
Dean's association with that acting 
group. Dean thought meeting Lee 
Strasberg and being permitted to sit 
in on acting sessions was one of the 
most important events of his life. He 
wrote relatives that he had been 
accepted as a member of the school. 
This letter also mentioned the 
expense such training incurred his 
doubts that he would be able to 

"New york overwhelmed me. For the first few weeks I was so confused 
that I strayed only of couple of blocks from my hotel." 

guard coming back." Between such 
assignments he continued ushering 
at CBS where, occasionally, he 
earned overtime pay by doubling as 
a parking lot attendant. Rogers 
Brackett also managed to use him for 
a few radio bits. He later had five 
days work, at Universal-Interna- 
tional, playing a teenager with an 
appetite for fancy ice cream concoc- 
tions in the Technicolor comedy Has 
Anybody Seen My Gal?, starring 
Rock Hudson and Piper Laurie. This 
bit did escape the editor's shears and 
Dean, if not outstanding, is at least 
recognizable in a brief scene with 
Charles Coburn. 

Films, Dean concluded, offered 
few opportunities for work so he 
decided to go to New York and 
earnestly try to break into television. 
James Whitmore sanctioned that 
decision. "New York overwhelmed 
me," said Dean. "For the first few 
weeks I was so confused that I 
strayed only a couple of blocks from 


my hotel off Times Square. I would 
see three movies a day in an attempt 
to escape from my loneliness and 
depression. I spent $150 of my 
limited funds just on seeing movies." 
And, when the funds were gone, he 
went to work — as a busboy or 
counterman — in drugstores and 
various restaurants in the midtown 
Manhattan theatre district. 

It was through Rogers Brackett 
that he finally did get into television, 
Brackett had given him a letter of 
introduction to James Sheldon, one 
of the directors on Robert Montgom- 
ery Presents. Sheldon, impressed 
with the boy's clear-cut good looks 
and his audition, had no work for 
him, but took the trouble to person- 
ally introduce him to talent agent 
Jane Deacy who worked in Louis 
Shurr's office. Miss Deacy sensed 
Dean's potential and believed that 
training and seasoning could turn 
him into a valuable property. 

Through Miss Deacy's fruitful 

continue lessons because of it. Stras- 
berg and Elia Kazan claim he was 
never an Actors Studio pupil. 

Dean's first good television part — 
albeit not a star role— was in a 1952 
Theatre Guild on the Air presenta- 
tion, "The Thief," starring Diana 
Lynn. At this juncture Rogers 
Brackett came East. He brought 
Dean along for a weekend at the 
Hudson River home of Broadway 
producer Lemuel Ayres. Ayres, and 
his wife, liked Dean well enough to 
invite him back for other weekends. 
And, when they planned a ten day 
cruise on their luxury sloop, they 
offered to take him along to Cape 
Cod as a paid member of their 
informal crew. During this trip 
Ayres learned of Dean's disappoint- 
ment over his failure to be signed by 
CBS for the role of Clarence Day, Jr. 
in the series Life With Father. He 
had studied the part for weeks and 
thought his chances of being signed 
had been good. His other hopeful 

The acting appearances of James Dean 

Sailor Beware. Paramount. 1961 Directed by Hal Walker. 
Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis. Comne Calvert. M.r i: 

Q'Shea, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier. 

Has Anybody Seen My Gal? Universal International. 1953 

Directed by Douglas Sirk. Charles Cobum. piper Laurie. 

Lynn Bari, Rock Hudson, Gigi Perreau, William Reynolds, 

Larry Gates. 

East Of Eden. Warner Brothers. 1955. Directed by Elia 

Kazan. Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Albert 

Dekker, Jo Van Fleet, Dick Davalos. 

Rebel Without A Cause. Warner Brothers. 1355. Directed 

by Nicholas Ray. Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo. Jim Backus, 

Corey Allen, Ann Dor an, Roche lie Hudson, W. Hopper. 

Giant Warner Brothers. 1356. Directed hy George Stevens. 

Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Carrol Baker, Jane 

Withers, Mercedes McCambridge, Chill Wills, Sal Mineo, 

Rod Taylor, Earl Holliman. 

The Jamas Dean Story. Warner Brothers. 1957. Directed 

by George W. George and Robert Altman, Narrated by 

Martin Gabel. 

1950: Pepsi Cola Commercial; Hill Number One, play 
prod, by Jerry Fairbanks. 

1951: Beit the Clock (standby work on this game show! 
bits in Tales of Tommorow, TMen in Action. MartinKane, 
Campbell 'Sound 'Stage, Kraft Theatre and Danger. 
1952: Theatre Guild on tbe Air ('The Thiei"!; Danger 
("Death Sentence"); TMen in Action ("Case of the 
Watchtul Dog" and "Something For an Empty Briefcase"!. 

1953: Kate Smith Show ('Taken From the Hounds of 
Heaven"); lux Video Theatre (interview); Armstrong 
Circle TheaUe ("The Bells of Cockaigne"); TMen in 
Action ("Case of the Sawedoff Shotgun"!; TheBig Story, 
Kraft Theatre ("Keep Our Honor Bright"); Campbell 
Sound Stage ("Life Sentence"!; Robert Montgomery 
Presents l"Harvest"l; Kraft Theatre l"A Long Time Till 
Dawn"); Danger ("Padlocks"); You Are There; Hallmark 
Playhouse: Phiko Playhouse C'Run Like a Thief "I. 

1954: G.E. 7fe3fr<?("IAmaFool"). 

1955: Sch/iti Playhouse ("Unlighted Road"), 

1956: Steve Allen Show {visit to Fairmont.! 

Also featured on two documentaries: a tribute to Dean 
was shown on CBS in 1957; a David Wolper Hollywood 
and the Stars telecast ('Teenage Idols"! shown in 1964 
featured another tribute to Dean, 

Stars Over Hollywood, Alias Jane Doe and Sam Spade. 
(All bit parts!. 


See The Jaguar. A Lhi i\. get play by N. Richard Nash. 
Produced by Lemuel Ayres in association with Helen 
Jacobson. Directed by Michael Gordon, (Premiered at the 
Cort Theatre on December 3, 1S62J, Arthur Kennedy, 
Constance Ford, Cameron Prud'homme, George Tyne, 
Roy Fant. David Clark, Phillip Pine. 

The Immoralist. A three-act play by Ruth and Augustus 
Goetz based on Andre Gide's novel. Produced by Billy 
Rose. Directed by Daniel Mann. (Premiered at the Royal 
Theatre on February 8, 1954), Louis Jordan. Geraldine 
Page, Charles Dingle, Paul Huber. Jon Hel dab rand, David 
J. Steward, Adelaide Klein. 

prospect, an audition for a part as 
one of the teenagers in Mary Chase's 
comedy Bemadine, also fell through. 
Ayres, then preparing to produce N. 
Richard Nash's play See The Jaguar 
that winter, told Dean that when he 
was ready to cast he would consider 
him for a part. 

The cast of See The Jaguar 
included such able performers as 
Arthur Kennedy, Constance Ford 
and Cameron Prud'homme. The 
play, received with less than enthu- 
siasm by critics, premiered in New 
York at the Cort Theatre on Decem- 
ber 3, 1952 and closed after six 
performances. Reviewers all paid 
tribute to the young actor who 
played the wraith-like and illiterate 
Wally Wilkins. 

In January he had a good part in 
"Taken From the Hound of Heav- 
en," a drama on the Kate Smith 
Show. He had fair to good support- 
ing roles in two additional T-Men in 
Action stanzas. And he was con- 
sidered worthwhile enought to be 
interviewed at the end of a Lux 
Video Theatre presentation. His first 
starring role, in Rod Serling's "A 
Long Time Till Dawn," was a Kraft 

Theatre telecast in which he gave an 
excellent performance as a confused 
murderer holed up in a farmhouse. 
That same November he co-starred 
with Dorothy Gish, Vaughn Taylor 
and Ed Regley in "Harvest," a drama 
on Robert Montgomery Presents. 

During 1953 television work was 
so plentiful Dean could afford to 
turn down MGM's invitation to 
return to Hollywood for a screen 
test. Later in the year producer Billy 
Rose signed him for an important 
role — as a blackmailing Arab boy 
involved in a sordid affair with a 
homosexual tourist — The Immoral- 
ist. Louis Jordan and Geraldine Page 
co-starred. The Immoralist opened 
at New York's Royal Theatre on 
February 3, 1954. Despite uniformly 
excellent notices for the play and the 
cast, the public remained somewhat 
indifferent to it. Dean won the 
Danile Blum Theatre Award as the 
most promising actor of the year. 
The Immoralist limped along for a 
few months, but Dean had left the 
cast soon after the opening to return 
to TV work. 

He co-starred with Mildred 
Dunnock in "Padlocks," one of the 
half-hour plays presented on the 
popular suspense series Danger. In 
"Run Like A Thief," a Philco Play- 
(Continued mi page 74) 

Dean and Natalie Wood sha 

from the film REBEL 

What did Mel Ott bat in 1941? 
Who took part in more 
double plays than Joe Cronis 
as of the same year? What year did 
Carl Hubbell join the Giants? These 
answers and more can be found on 
the baseball cards shown here. If 
they had been post- 1952 cards, a 
complete year-by-year minor and 
major league rundown would be 
found on the cards, along with a 
short history of the player pictured 
on the front. 

Why baseball cards? If you really 
wanted to know all about the 
players, there are books and 
magazines of statistics and biog- 
raphy. Why bother collecting the 
little cards? 

Kids buy them for three reasons 
according to Seymour "Sy" Berger 
(director of the Topps Chewing Gum 
sports department, the current pro- 
ducer of baseball cards). In an 
interview with Steven Clark (Popu- 
lar Sports, September, 1974) Berger 
says: "First, there is identification. 
The baseball player is typical of the 
man walking down the street, unlike 
the football player who is a very big 
man or the basketball player who is 
a very tall man. With the baseball 
player he can see himself. He can 
identify. In addition, because of the 
game's pace, the youngster has the 
opportunity to learn to imitate 
baseball players — to hold his bat like 
Willie Mays, crouch like Stan 
Musial or spread his feet like Joe 
DiMaggio. And he can familiarize 


virwfiKSd mi 

Like some postage stamps, some baseball cards 
are worth money. 

himself with the facts of all the 
players. It's all within his grasp." 

And the adults? Well, Woody 
Gelmanj also with Topps, who has a 
great collection of cards (some of 
which appear on this page) puts it 
this way. He acknowledges that 
there is a certain amount of financial 
satisfaction to be gained from base- 
ball card collections, but says that 
his hobby, is really "a desire to 
recapture the past. A man might 
collect for commercial reasons, but it 
is probably more a matter of nostal- 
gia. It is also a form of art expres- 
sion. Collecting cards is less expen- 
sive than collecting paintings." 







Like some postage stamps, some 
baseball cards are worth money, but 
very few are worth a lot of money. 
One of the most valuable cards is 
that of Honus Wagner which was 
printed and circulated in a pack of 
Sweet Caporal cigarettes. Honus 
was a Pirate star in 1908 when the 
card was issued and he was a non- 
smoker. So he didn't feel right about 
having his picture on a card issued 
by a cigarette company. It might, he 
reasoned, be taken as an endorse- 
ment' of the product. He forced the 
company to stop distributing the 
card. Before the "cease and desist" 
order came from Honus, however, 
several had been circulated. Most of 
those were lost, but seven are known 
to exist. They are worth up to $1500. 

If you have a collection (or are 
interested in starting a collection) 
The American Card Catalogue, 
published under the label of Nostal- 
gia Press by Woody Celman of 
Franklin Square, New York, gives a 
list of cards going back to 1886 and 
also lists current prices. 


By Jim Harmon 

"I owe every boy and girl a debt of gratitude, for in livin' up to the 
character they believed me to be, they made a better man out of Tom Mix. 

If there was anything more thrill- 
ing than listening to the adven- 
tures of Tom Mix and his Ralston 
Straight Shooters on the radio in 
thirties, forties and even into the 
fifties, it was actually receiving a 
magical gift from the chief Straight 
Shooter himself. The Siren Ring was 
only one such gift to come to you 
through the mail for your Ralston 
box-top and sometimes a dime "for 
handling and mailing." (Many 
premium give-aways cost no money, 
and only required proof of your 
loyalty to Ralston Wheat Cereal.) 

The radio broadcasts did not 
begin until 1933, but Tom Mix was 
already famous as a Western movie 
star. He went back as far as 1910 
when he had worked on a one-reel 
documentary about the life of a 
cowboy made by Colonel Selig near 
Dewey, Oklahoma where Mix was 
the town marshal. That is indis- 
putably documented and there is a 
Tom Mix Museum in Dewey today, 
housing the actor's rodeo outfits, 
saddles, guns, and even the boots he 
was wearing when he died in a 1940 

Above is the slide whistle ring, one of 
the more elaborate of the radio pre 
miums offered. 

automobile accident. 

The radio series character was 
composed of legend and fantasy, as 
well as some facts. John Ford had a 
character say in one of his films, 
"When there is a choice between the 
facts and the legend, print the 
legend." A lot of people did that for 
years concerning Tom Mix. People 
wanted to believe he was a former 
Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal, 
that he had been a soldier of fortune 
in China, Cuba, South Africa. Most 
of that is at best an exaggeration on 
the part of publicity agents. But 
even in this cynical age, Paul E. Mix 
wrote too disparingly of his own 
cousin in the recent book. The Life 
and Legend of Tom Mix. He denied 
him virtually all real life experience 
in tracking down outlaws. Western 
historian Sam Henderson has docu- 
mented for me accounts of Tom Mix 
working as a guard or detective in 
railroad construction camps so tough 
somebody was killed every night. At 
another time, Tom Mix acted as a 
Revenue Agent, tracking down 
people selling "Moonshine" whiskey 
(often so bad it killed or blinded 
people drinking it). People can recall 
him taking chances that they can not 
see how he survived. 

Railroad camp guard and Rev- 
enue Agent do not sound as romantic 
as "Texas Ranger" or U.S. Marshal" 
(titles actually given Mix on a 
honorary basis) but the work was 
probably as hazardous. Of course, 
Tom Mix was no sainted cardboard 
hero. In his own book, Ropin' a 

Million, privately printed, 1936 
(apparently actually written or 
supervised by him), Tom Mix says 
that when he was in one particularly 
dangerous situation he had some 
second thoughts about his past life. 
"I remembered a eoupla horse trades 
I wished I'd never made an" I 
thought of a horse or two that I'd 
like to hand back to their owners." 
Obliquely, he was admitting to 
being a horse thief. Later on in the 
book, there is the comment: "I owe 
every boy and girl of this an" other 
countries a debt of gratitude, for in 
livin' up to the character they be- 
lieved me to be they made a better 
man out of Tom Mix than Tom Mix 
would have made out of himself." 

In this book, written late in life, 
Tom Mix made no claims for Army 
service in the Boxer Rebellion (he 
served during the Spanish-American 
War in the army, but did not see 
combat) or to being a Texas Ranger. 
One of the early "Ralston Straight 
Shooters Manual" booklets which 
was sent out to radio listeners in the 
thirties pictured a Stetson-wearing 
diagram of Mix's body and revealed 
the location of twelve bullet 
wounds, forty-seven bone fractures, 
but could not show "scars from 22 
knife wounds. . . nor is it possible to 

Opposite page, clockwise. Pocket hi ij v. 
decoder badge, club ring, wrangler 
badge, siren ring, compass i- magnifier, 
club badge, mirror ring, signature ring, 
and the first premium of all— the horse- 
shoe nail ring. 




Bradley was also a good Western 
singer. He began on the show as one 
of the Ranch Boys trio who sang the 
opening theme song of "Start the 
morning with Hot Ralston." 

Shortly after, he began playing 
the part of Tom Mix's drawling side- 
kick, Pecos Williams. Then when the 
show came back on the air after a 
hiatus, Bradley was Tom Mix him- 
self, talking faster, and with 
authority and conviction. 

On several occasions, 1 got letters 
supposedly from "Curley Bradley, 
Tom Mix of Radio." An avid col- 
lector of box-top giveaways even as a 
boy, I would sometimes write in to 
see if I could get a replacement for 
some ring that I had lost or broken. 
Sometimes you could, sometimes 
you couldn't. A letter would come to 
you informing you of the availability 
of the old premium, signed by 
"Bradley" but coming from St. Louis 
when I knew the Tom Mix radio 
show originated at WGN, Chicago. 
But, I forgave Tom Mix this bit of 
show business deception. 

These days, I sometimes come 
across men and women who tell me 
they were disappointed by the give- 

They were all wonderful toys — or they all toyed with wonder. 

show on diagram the hole four 
inches square. . . blown in Tom's 
back by a dynamite explosion." 

At least, the forty-seven broken 
bones were accurate. Tom Mix sus- 
tained countless injuries performing 
leaps from cliffs on horseback, 
crashing runaway stagecoaches, 
climbing and leaping crevices of the 
Grand Canyon in hundreds of films 
from The Range Rider in 1910 
through the silent era with The 
Riders of the Purple Sage and The 
Great AirK Train Robbery, into the 
sound era with features such as 
Destry Rides Again (the first version) 
and My Pal, the King until his final 
film, a low budget serial of 1935, 
The Miracle Rider. His voice was not 
perfect, a nasal baritone, but he 
could get by, delivering lines with as 
much or more feeling than many 
Western stars of the sound era. 

The main trouble was that, like 
everyone, he was getting older. (By 
this time, he was being doubled in 
some, not all, his stunts by such 
stuntmen as Cliff Lyons and my 
friend, George DeNormand, still 

acting, now in television.) Tom 
Mix retired from the screen to run 
and appear in his circus, a passion- 
ate hobby of his, until the end. 

On the radio, Tom Mix remained 
forever young, timelessly immortal. 
"Tom Mix was impersonated" ran 
the closing line of the show — imper- 
sonated by Art Dickson, Jack 
Holden, Russell Thorson, and most 
enduringly, from 1944 to 1950 by 
Curley Bradley. A real cowboy, 
movie stuntman, and a man who 
had worked with the real Tom Mix, 

aways when they arrived. Perhaps 
the hard-sell commercials and the 
events in the drama itself led those 
poor souls to expect too much of the 
Siren Ring or Decoder Badge. Or 
perhaps the magic spell did not last 
long enough for them. I was still 
enchanted by the announcer's voice 
on those cold winter evenings in 
Illinois— even after I opened the 
brown envelope with its checker- 
board design and the shining simu- 
lated gold object dropped into my 
hand. The Siren Ring was not 
merely an adjustable band of some 
yellow metal. It was like the ring 
given Aladdin by the djinn of the 
lamp. It put me in touch with Tom 
Mix himself. It made me a Straight 
Shooter. As long as I played fair and 
square with all, I had nothing to 
fear. And if there was ever anything 
too big for me to handle, the ring 
would somehow bring Tom Mix to 
my help. Perhaps he would not 
materialize in a cloud of dust astride 
Tony, but something of his courage 
and justice would aid me. 

The ring of some design was the 

most popular premium offer on the 
Tom Mix series, or on most of the 
others. It was a symbol that you 
were a member of the club— a 
Straight Shooter. The ring was some- 
how more grown-up than a badge. 
Your father and mother wore rings. 
No adult in real life wore a badge 
except a policeman. Without any 
overt anti-police bias, you somehow 
felt more comfortable with the 

Of course, nearly every ring did 
something as well as being orna- 
mental. In the case of Tom Mix, 
there was not only the Siren Ring 
but a Slide-Whistle Ring on which 
could be played musical tunes. The 
Magnet Ring which could pick up 
small metal objects — such as the 
paper clip fastened to the plans of 
the atomic bomb which Tom 
rescued from spies. 

At iejt from top. counterclockwise .- Tom Mix gun with Orphan Annie, 
Gene Autnj and Buck Rndgers guns of the same period. Nostalgia shops 
like the one pictured above do a booming business with such items. 

The ring made me a straight 
shooter. As long as I played 
fair and square with all, I had 
nothing to fear. 

Another Ralston giveaway was the 
Lookaround Ring with which you 
could Peek around corners to see just 
what you were going to walk into. 
You also looked into the Tom Mix 
Mystery Ring and saw a picture of 
Tom and Tony magnified "a thou- 
sand times." The tiny optical unit 
was marked at the side of the photo- 
graph "made in France." No doubt, 
this was made by the same company 

that put scenes such as on French 
postcards into other viewing novel- 
ties. One can't help but speculate on 
the surprise a youthful Straight 
Shooter might have had, if they had 
got the viewer units mixed up. 

Some of the other Tom Mix rings 
did not have working functions. One 
merely had Tom Mix's signature in 
sterling silver on top — which was 
useful only if you had just received a 
check from Tom and wanted to 
verify the signature. The first ring 
with any identification is the Check- 

erboard Ring which has the famous 
TM-Bar design against Ralston's 
checkerboard back for a signet. A 
later ring could be provided with the 
listener's own initial on top, with the 
TM-Bar moved to the side. 

The earliest Tom Mix ring of all, 
the very first Straight Shooter 
premium of all, bore no TM-Bar 
brand or any other identification. It 
was merely a Horseshoe Nail Ring 
consisting apparently of a real horse- 
shoe nail such as blacksmiths used 
(and still use) which could be bent 
around a poker by an industrious 
Straight Shooter or his dad, and 
worn as a ring. Some of these Mix 
(Continued on page 46) 




In a battle of quips, WC 
usually won . . . 


He was the comic who hated 
everyone, but did it in such a 
humorous way that no one 
could resist laughing. 

It is believed that a childhood of 
exceptional hardship contributed to 
making Fields such a bitter man — 
for he was one actor who did play 
himself on the screen. Born in 1879 
to a British immigrant, he ran away 
from home at eleven after a fight 
with his father. For the next few 
years he lived rough — sometimes 
going without food for days, sleeping 
on park benches and constantly 
fighting with seedy characters. 

At 14 Fields got a job juggling in 
an amusement park. From there he 
went on to vaudeville, and by the 
time he was 20 he was getting top 
billing. A Ziegfield aide caught his 
act one night and signed him to play 
in the Follies. 

In 1923, Fields starred in the 
Broadway musical Poppy. The show 
was such a great success that Para- 
mount bought the property and gave 
Fields a contract to repeat his role in 
the film and also do more movies. 

After making such great hits as 
Two Flaming Youths and Tillies 
Punctured Romance, Fields was one 
of Paramount's biggest stars. He 
became demanding — he wanted 
more money and the right to insert 
into his films any material he 
thought necessary. His requests were 
denied; he returned to Broadway. 

By 1930 sound was in and Mack 
Sennett was prepared to pay Fields 

Teaming Mac West with WC Fields in MY LITTLE CHICKADEE was a t 
delight and a director's nightmare. The two disliked each other delidously. 

well — $5000 a week. If he was 
in silent films he was extraordinary 
in talkies. His wit and timing were 
unbelievable. International House 
and It "s a Gift are classics . 

In 1938, Fields was getting 
$150,000 a picture — an astronomical 
fee for the time, but he was worth 
every penny as his films grossed 

millions for his studio. Four years 
later his career was on the wane. He 
was ill and drinking. 

The man who said, "any man who 
hates small dogs and children can't 
be all bad," also hated Christmas. It 
is rather ironic that he died on 
Christmas Day. 1946, but then he 
might have seen the humor in it. 

mm yjisT 

But not always, Mae had a way with words & things. 

Sex symbols come and go, but 
Mae West, the original, en- 
dures. When Brooklyn-born 
Mae came to Hollywood after 
shocking and delighting Eastern 
theater audiences with original plays 
such as So- and the Drag (and on 
one occasion ending up in jail as a 
result of a local censor's displeasure 
with her frankness), she brought 
along the now-legendary Westian 
wit — and of course the famous 
figure that gyrated Paramount Pic- 
tures from the brink of bankruptcy 
into the black. 

From the start of her career, Mae 
insisted upon complete control of her 
films, writing her own scripts and 
supervising costumes. "I know what 
my fans want," she says, explaining 
her professional philosophy, "and I 
know how to give it to them." 

Mae's public got plenty of "it" in 
such films as She Done Him Wrong, 
Every Day's A Holiday and I'm No 
Angel, but often the finished version 
of her movies was a bit tamer than 
Mae's original conception. The Hays 
office made her its chief target and 
William Randolph Hearst refused to 
print ads for her films in his papers. 

In the early 1940s, Mae left Holly- 
wood to return to the stage, and to 
break Las Vegas records with her 
nightclub act, in which she was 

be Snow White," 

■esaid. -hut I drifted.' 

backed by a chorus of muscle men. 
She had written her autobiography 
and several film scripts and a novel. 
Her return to the screen in Myra 
Breckenridge (Mae was probably the 
film's one socially redeeming fea- 
ture) delighted her fans, who share 
Mae's belief that "when a girl goes 
bad, men go after her." 


cams THfiT mm 

you BACK 

JUT (filOT TOO ffill. 

■ "32 coupe is considered by many to be one of 
the most outstanding Chevrolets ever made. It was, 
and still is, a superb example of classic car design. 
The stamped hood louvers of the 1931 models were replaced with four small doors on each side. These 
doors were chrome plated on the Deluxe models. Chromed "bullet style" headlamps were supported on a 
curved, double tiebar which joined and neatly integrated fenders, lights, and radiator shell. The horn was 
suspended under the left headlamp. 

1947-48 Lincoln 

Lincoln had a "low, clean, silhouette firmly drawn fenders and 
functional compact rear deck. The late Edsel Ford helped design 
it. Despite its rather excessive grill, many designers regard it as 
the most beautiful US car." Life magazine late in 1947 extolled 
the virtues of the Lincoln thusly. It seems, in looking back now, 
that Edsel was far more successful in designing the Lincoln than 
others were to be in designing his namesake car. This car in a 
convertible model seated six, had a 120 hp engine (V-12) and cost 

"Imagine driving your car for 20 hours every day . . . piling up 1 ,000 miles a day at wide-open 

and doing it every day for years." You could, the ad suggested, if you owned anew 1941 
Chrysler. Engineering was Chrysler's forte and they pushed it. Styling was not their strong suit. 
The '41s boasted the Fluid Drive (introduced in 1938), airflow bodies with 108 or 135 horsepower 
engines, and the "last word in roominess." 

1950 Plymouth 

Engineering was— true-to- 
Chrysler Form— the selling point 
of the 1950 Plymouth. The ad 
copy suggested that a prospective 
owner check over these six points 
before settling for any car other 
than a new Plymouth: (1) Find 
out what type of air cleaner the 
car has (2) What kind of paint 
finish (3) What repair costs 
would be (4) If the trunk has a 
counter-balanced lid (5) What 
safety features are available 
and, (6) What the cold weather 
performance of other products is 
compared to the Plymouth. 
Supposedly, after all this, one 
V would tend to buy a Plymouth. 

1953 Dodge 

The front and rear fenders 
became integrated into the 
basic body design for the first 
time and a one-piece curved 
windshield was introduced. 
Dodge's first V-8 engine made 
its debut advertising 140 
horsepower at 4,400 rpm. 
Models offered were the 
Dodge Meadowbrook, 
Meadowbrook special, 
Cornet Six, small Meadow- 
brook, and both a small and 
full-sized Cornet Eight. The 
six cylinder engine had 102 
horse power. 

1934 Cadillac 

The 1934 Cadillacs came in six models including this convertible coupe. The 34s were the "first to introduce 
modern streamlining. First American car with spare tire concealed within the body and the first to develop 
and use knee-action wheels." This beautiful little coupe would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,595 
, with a straight 8 engine. _^ 


1950 Oldsmobile 

Designed to provide ample room 
for the average familv, this new 
1950 Olds series "76"'Club 
Sedan offered famous Futuramic 
styling in the lower price range. 
The interior had been complete- 
ly re-styled to provide luxury 
typical of higher-priced cars. 
The wheelbase was 119 Yt inches 
which permitted "sleek, low 
lines and maximum maneuver- 
ability." The thrift model was 
powered by Oldsmobile's im- 
^proved "Big Six" engine . 

1953 Cadillac 

The total production of the 1953 

Caddies was 109, 657 and the list 
price of a typical car in the high 
priced range was $5,604. This was 
the era of the fishtail rear ends and 
the massive front bumpers. 
Chrome was a definite plus. Could 
you — in the Fifties— imagine a 
Caddie without chrome? 



{Continued from page 39) 
rings are being sold by dealers for 
$60.00 each, but it would take a 
radioactive carbon test to tell them 
apart from a current horseshoe nail 
that could be bought for a penny. 

The next most popular radio 
premium is the badge. Ralston 
offered a Tom Mix Decoder Badge in 
1940 with a tiny six-gun that moved 
around like the hand of a clock and 
pointed out pictures of objects — a 
skull, a horseshoe, a star— which 
stood for signals such as "Danger 
Ahead" and "Watch for Clue." A 
somewhat similar offer involved a 
set of five pin-back buttons with 
photographs of the radio cast. On 
the back of each button was a 
message. If you were told to look on 
the back of your Sheriff Mike 
button, you got a message something 
like "Danger Ahead." Things had 
not changed much at the TM-Bar in 
the nearly ten years between offers. 

There were other badges : a 
Campaign Medal, a Ranch Boss 
badge, a Wrangler badge, and a 
glow-in-the-dark badge that looked 
like a military decoration. 

Also glowing in the dark were 
Tom Mix spurs, an arrowhead with 
compass and magnifying glass, and 
another ring that looked like a tiger 
eye in the dark. 

There were flashlights, telescopes, 
and telegraph sets — one that used 
batteries and could be hooked to 
another and used to send messages 

like a real telegraph set. (This was 
perhaps slightly misrepresented to 
listeners, since on the show, Tom 
carried his in his hip pocket and 
without any wires, received mes- 
sages on it from one of his young 
wards, Jimmy or Jane.) 
They were all wonderful toys or 

Sent out to radio listeners in the thir- 
ties, this Stetson-wearing diagram of 
Mix's body revealed the location of 12 
bullet wounds, 47 broken bones, but 
could not show 22 knife wounds or the 
hole four inches square blown in 
Tom's back by a dynamite explosion. 

they all toyed with wonder. Either 
way thev were great for the cost 
involved'. Todav they sell for $35.00, 
or $60.00 or maybe even $100.00 for 
one of the telegraph sets or the 
Mystery Ring. But if I was asked 
what the best premium the Tom Mix 
radio show ever offered, I wouldn't 
say the Siren Ring, or the Manual 
with Tom Mix's life story, or even 
the twelve Tom Mix Comics 
magazines from Ralston with Fred 
Meagher art and stories ten years 
ahead in quality from their 1940 
origin. No, the best premium of all 
was the show itself. 

On that last broadcast in 1950, 
when Ralston was going to television 
with the futuristic Space Patrol, 
Tom Mix said to his sidekick, Sheriff 
Mike (who was the Old Wrangler 
from the early days of the show 
under another name, for all practi- 
cal purposes) : "This is the end of the 
trail, and yet just the beginning. 
How many times will the figure of 
big, burly Mike Shaw stride across 
the imagination of some grown-up 
child in the years to come?" 

I knew I've seen Sheriff Mike and 
Tom himself, and Wash, and Jane in 
my mind's eye more times than a 
grown-up man might like to admit. 
I'm older now, and I'm not sure that 
I believe any longer that Straight 
Shooters always win. But I still 
would like to believe it. 

And I believe that, like King 
Arthur, if his country needs him 
badly enough, Tom Mix, or his 
spirit, will come out of our hearts 
and heads sending a signal on his Si- 
ren Ring to ride out against law- 
breakers and make a world where 
we are all Straight Shooters. 


By Wayne Stierle 

In the early fifties, if you lived 
near enough to a big city radio 

station and if you were a born 
dial-switcher, you might have heard 
the early rumblings of what was to 
become rock 'n roll music. And if so, 
you might have heard the Drifters as 
far back as 1953 with their founding 
lead voice, the late Clyde McPhatter. 
From that sound you just might have 
gotten a feeling that there was a 
change in the air. 

But the change was .subtle, for 
early 1954 found Frank Sinatra 
entering into his major comeback on 
disc with "Young At Heart"— after 
three years of absolutely no 
recording success at all. At the same 
time "Gee" by a group with the 
unlikely name of The Crows hit the 
top ten on the r&b charts, and then 
crossed over onto the top twenty of 
the national "pop" charts. 

Still, it seemed a fluke. One hit by 
a group that was never to be heard 
from again in major areas does not 
make a trend. "Crazy, Man, Crazy" 

by Bill Haley and The Comets had 
also been a pretty big hit but Haley 
would fade out of the charts for over 
a year before becoming a star. 

Perry Como was number 1 with 
"Wanted" and Eddie Fisher was 
America's darling. Everything was 
nice and calm — what would a few 
nutty records do? 

Well, I'm just a kid, sec, and what 
do I know? It's summer, 1954 and 
I'm a cub scout. Now, I like music a 
heck of a lot. and I really dig 
records. But I took up the trombone 
strictly because I wanted to play 
"The William Tell Overture" and 
not because I was into the classics. I 
was a Lone Ranger fan. My record 
collection — which started with 78s 
until my cousin Billy slammed the lid 
down on my $14.95 Webcor three- 
speed portable and cracked my copy 
of "Richochet" by Theresa Brewer — 
wasn't too big a collection. I only got 
10«f a. week allowance, and there 
were very few records that I could 
actually relate to. Can you see a 

1954 cub scout going wild over 
"Learning The Blues" or "Kiss of 

Every summer they had a great 
carnival in my cousin's town and we 
were going. Saturday afternoon the 
carnival was an okay thing, but after 
supper with twilight turning out the 
sun's glare and the lights from the 
carnival winking through the trees 
the magic turned on. 

We go in, and through the jumble 
of noise and merry-go-round music I 
hear pop records playing very loudly 
over the speaker system. The music 
called out to me, and I heard it 
above the roar of the night. We had 
just finished throwing ping pong 
balls at small bowls of gold fish and 
were walking over to get a Coke — at 
a nickle a glass— when it happened, 

The Chords' hit of "Sh-Boom" had 
been recorded by the Crew-Cuts, 
and was taking off at amazing 
speed, all around the country, in 
every area. We get the coke and on 
comes "Sh-Boom", just blasting out 


throughout the place. I loved it, and 

I loved the effect it created. 

"Sh-Boom" hit number 1 soon 
after that and I saved my pennies 
waiting for the next record of similar 
appeal. I waited until late "54 to find 
it again. I was making my regular 
passes around the dial of my tube 
model Emerson when I came upon a 
song broadcast from Mars or Saturn, 
but not of this earth, surely. It was 
a ballad unlike any recorded pre- 
viously. The piano, the group, the 
lead voice, and those spine tingling 
words burned themselves into my 
mind forever. After "Earth Angel" 
by the Penguins, the cub scouts 
seemed quite juvenile indeed, But 
the revolution wasn't in full swing 
yet, for early in 1955, "The Ballad of 
Davey Crockett" was in the top ten 

Early 1954 found Sinatra entering ftfe major come- 
back on disc with Toung At Heart. " 
Fats Domino was pounding on a red hot piano with 
his own brand of New Orleans music gone rock 'n roll. 

in three different versions; the one 
by Bill Hayes at number 1. Those 
few odd songs were around, hut 
willi Davy and the coonskin cap 
craze going like wildfire, they were 
hardly noticed. 

Blazing trails and Injun fighting 
couldn't last forever, and that brief 
fling with "innocent" childhood via 
Disney and Crockett was destined to 
come crashing to a halt somewhere 
betwixt the spring of 1955 and the 
winter chill of 1956. Fats Domino 
heated up the charts with "Ain't It A 
Shame" (best remembered as "Ain't 
That A Shame") and while television 
was still cooling us off with Perry 
Como, lurking somewhere inside our 
radios Fats Domino was pounding 
on a red hot piano with his own 
brand of New Orleans music gone 
rock 'n roll. 

Rock "n roll? 

(Alan Freed was in New York City 
now, claiming to have coined the 
phrase rock 'n roll which Freed also 
called "The Big New Beat in Popular 
Music." Rock 'n Roll had been 
around as a term far before Freed, 
but it was Freed who made the 
phrase come alive for most people. 
He put the handle on the sound 
when a term was necessary.) 

Elvis was always there, 

regardless of the year. 

Fats Domino's r&b hits dated 
back to 1950, but he was all-new in 
'55, as was a wild, wild man from 
Macon, Georgia — who also had 
recorded as far back as 1950 but 
with no major results. The wild 
man's name was Richard Pennimen, 
but he's better known as Little 
Richard, and his career began 
nationally at its peak with "Tutti 
Frutti" in all its Wop-bob-a-loop- 
bop-a-bop-bim-boom glory. 

A black man playing and singing 
highly sexual music in the new rock 
'n roll style was more than white 
parents were ready to sit still for in 
'55. Fats Domino wasn't really a 
threat, and no one knew too much 
about what was going down, but 
you didn't have to see Little Richard 
to either love him or hate him. You 
only had to hear that insane howl 
coupled with a truly crazy piano and 
a sax man cut free, to know that 
things were happening inside you 
that didn't exactly happen when you 
listened to, say, Vic Damone. The 
social force of rock 'n roll music was 
flexing its muscles. 

For the adults, how much was 
old-line prejudice and how much 
hatred for the music is hard to say, 
but as Davy Crockett hats bit the 
dust, the feeling of rebellion grew 
and flowered. Rock 'n roll spread the 
feeling brought forth by James Dean 
in "Rebel Without A Cause" and in 
many millions of American teen- 
agers it provided that cause. 

The truth about Pat Boone's music 
comes, oddly enough, from Little 
Richard who freely admits not only 
that Boone outsold him initially, but 
that Pat carried the music to radio 
stations which — in 1955 — would not 
have played Little Richard or any- 
one else they didn't want to. Rock 'n 
roll seems to have been born stand- 
ing up and talking back, but like all 
babies —precocious or not — it didn't 
have total clout until it grew a little. 
As the year closed, Dean Martin was 
number 1 with "Memories Are Made 
Of This", but the rock 'n roll trend 

// was Elvis Presley, eyes burning with 
the look oj an evangelist, arm punch- 
ing and. swinging. 

The 1950s were the golden age of rock 'n roll. 
Innocent perhaps, but basic and worldly also. 

was growing. 

1956 brought Chuck Berry and 
"Maybelline," however, he missed 
the pop charts with his two follow- 
ups. Most major rock 'n rollers had 
not yet even recorded. "I Like Ike" 
had changed slightly to "Let's Back 
Ike" and Adlai Stevenson was 
wasting his words warning us about 
someplace called Southeast Asia. 
Adults were far more worried about 

"Long Tall Sally" ducking back into 
the alley than they were about a 
place they'd never heard of. Tommy 
and Jimmy Dorsey showcased new 
talent on their New York based 
Saturday evening show and on a 
dreary night in January, 1956, they 
would showcase yet another talent- — 
this one of major proportions. 

So, it's raining and cold and I'm at 
home on the living room rug, 
watching The Dorsey Brothers 
Show. All was quiet in Middle 
America as Walter Cronkite told us 
each week. (It was a "day like any 
other day." but I was there.) And 
boy was I everl The introduction 
faded into dark screen and then the 
image came up on a performer 

slung to one side, arm punching and 
swinging. His hair was slicked into a 
pompador and he looked a little 
mean, a little crazy, He gyrated and 
he beat on the guitar. He sneered, 
smiled and seemed to laugh. He 
belted out "Heartbreak Hotel" 
which was not on the market yet. 

Most of the adults — including 
Frank Sinatra — were giving the boy 
only six months before he'd be back 
driving a truck. (Actually, in six 
months he could have bought a lot of 
trucks on the road. ) Some big 
stars were to come shooting in along 
about '57 and '58, but Elvis was 
always there, regardless of the year. 

The 1950s were the golden age of 
rock 'n roll, not just because it was 
the birth of rock, but because it was 
exciting and real and young. 
Innocent, perhaps, but basic and 
worldly, also. A time when no 
matter how often Gene Vincent sang 
"Be-Bop-A-Lulu", or Carl Perkins 
sang "Blue Suede Shoes," people 

You liked "Diana" by Paul Anka, 
but couldn't figure out why you 
didn't really like his other songs. You 
went wild over Annette, (on the 
Mouseketeers) only by 1959, it didn't 
have much to do with her large pair 
of ears. After school you had a rough 
time choosing between the candy 
store and Dick Clark on "American 
Bandstand". (Would Kenny and 
Arlene dance a slow one today?) The 
extra excitement with Dick Clark 
was that he was always springing 
great guests on you, as well as new 
records. When Dick Clark said, 
"This is going to be a monster!" and 
nodded at you with that smile, well, 
you knew he was right. And he was, 
too. You started out with the entire 
Nelson Family, but by the fall of 
1957, you hung in there to see Rickv 
close it out with a song, often one of 
his many, many hits. Bobby Darin 
finally made it with "Splish-Splash" 
which made him seem like just 
another splash in the pan, but he 
soon branched out in every direction 
possible and became the second 
biggest name to emerge from the 
1950s rock era. While everybody 
was having a field day, Elvis was 

You might have heard the Drifters as far back as 1953 with their founding 
lead, the late Clyde McPhatter. 

said, "...Are you sure that's not drafted into the army. 

Elvis?" When thirteen -year-old We were wearing denims and 

center stage. It was Elvis Presley, Frankie Lyman led the Teenagers, boots, and garrison belts and Vi inch 

eyes burning out from the screen and proved that as a child lead thin belts— buckle on the side, mind 

with the look of an evangelist, guitar singer he would never be equalled. {Continued on page 58) 

OC SfllVflOl 

Bv Ron Goulart 

"The giant bronze man and his five friends would confront undreamed perils 
as the very depths of hell itself crashed upon their heads." 

He had always been apprehen- 
sive lest something of the kind 
occur. The scientists who had 
trained him during his childhood 
had been afraid of his losing human 
qualities; they had guarded him 
against this as much as possible. 
When a man's entire life is fantastic, 
he must guard against his own per- 
sonality becoming strange," Kenneth 
Robeson. The Dagger In The Sky. 

You never know what sort of 
monument you'll get or what you'll 
be remembered for. Lester Dent had 
hopes to have a chance to write what 
he felt were first rate books and 
stories, the kind of thing that shows 
up on slick paper and best seller lists. 
Instead, he got hired to write the 
Doc Savage series and he spent 
nearly two decades hidden behind 
the pen name of Kenneth Robeson. 
The current Bantam paperback 
revivals of the old Doc Savage novels 
have now sold over twelve million 
copies and so Dent has become, 
some ten years after his death, one of 
the best selling authors of the 

The official version of the incep- 
tion of Doc Savage is that the entire 
concept was originated by Henry W. 
Ralston of Street & Smith. More 
probably, the character developed 
out of the numerous conferences on 
new titles which followed the unex- 
pected success of The Shadow. "The 
Shadow was going so good, it fooled 
hell out of everybody," recalls 
Walter Gibson (the writer who 



Who Was This „ 

SO Page Novel 

*■ -y- 

^ * 

The first issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE was dated March, 
1933. and sold for ten cents. It proved to be a hest-sclling title for 
Street it Smith and stayed on the stands for sixteen years. 

There were 181 novels devoted to Doc Savage, "the man whose name 
was becoming a byword in the odd corners of the world!" 

"He has the clue-following ahility 
of Tarzan, the scientific sleuthing 
of Craig Kennedy and the morals 
of Jesus Christ," so Dent 
descrihed his creation to a 

handed this description of the char- 
acter: "A Man of Bronze — known as 
Doc, who looks very much like Clark 
Gable. He is so well built that the 
impression is not of size, but of 
power." Baumhofer ignored this and 
made Doc look like a model he was 
using at the moment. In the stories 
of course. Doc's full name is Clark 

When he took on the Doc Savage 
job in 1933, Lester Dent was in his 
early thirties and already a prolific 
writer of pulp stories. A contempor- 
ary describes him as being then "a 
huge, red-headed man, six feet three 
and weighing around two hundred 
pounds." Dent grew up on his 
family's farm in La Plata, Missouri 
and despite his later wanderings he 
continued to refer to himself as "just 
a Missouri hillbilly." In the mid 
1930s, writing about himself in the 

third person for a publicity release, 
Dent depicted his early years this 

As a small boy, Lester Dent was 
taken across Wyoming in a cov- 
ered wagon. Six weeks were re- 
quired for the trip which can be 
made by automobile today in 
three hours. 

Dent lived as a youth on a 
Wyoming cow ranch. Also lived 
on a farm near La Plata, Mo. 

Dent was nineteen years old 
before his hair was ever cut by a 

Dent has only a high school 
education, but he attended Chilli- 
cothe Business College, learned to 

telegraph, and went to work for 
$45.00 a month. 

Dent studied law nights. 

While' working a night tele- 
graph job— from midnight until 
eight in the morning — Dent 
turned his hand to writing adven- 
ture stories. His first thirteen 
stories, nobody would buy. The 
fourteenth story sold for $250.00. 

A few months later, a large 
New York publishing house, after 
reading the first story Dent sent 
them, telegraphed him to the 
effect that, "if you make less than 
a hundred dollars a week on your 
present job, advise you to quit; 
come to New York and be taken 
under our wing, with a five-hun- 

expanded The Shadow from a radio 
voice into a pulp novel hero for 
Street & Smith.) "Ralston wanted to 
start another adventure magazine, 
but for a long time he didn't even 
have a title." John Nanovic, who 
edited both The Shadow and the 
new Doc Savage magazines, was 
also in on the planning of the new 
series. Basically, the Doc Savage 
format— that of a strong and bril- 
liant hero and his coterie of gifted 
and whimsical sidekicks— is Frank 
Meriwell and his chums updated. 
And there was numerous other 
successful gangs of fictional do- 
gooders around in the 1920s and 30s 
that might have served as inspira- 
tion, especially Edgar Wallace's 
Four]ust Men. Street & Smith might 
even have noticed a series one of 
their own authors was doing over at 
Fiction House. A year before the 
debut of Doc, Theodore Tinsley was 
writing novelets about a manhunter 
named Major Lacey, who had his 
headquarters in "the towering 
pinnacle of the Cloud building" and 
was aided by a variously gifted 
quartet of his ex-Marine buddies, 
Clark Gable influenced the develop- 
ment of Doc, too. When artist 
Walter Baumhofer was called in to 
paint the cover for the first issue of 
Doc Savage Magazine he was 

"Doc. . .looks very much like Clark Gable.' 

dred-dollar-a-month drawing ac- 

After telegraphing friends in 
New York to inquire around about 
the publisher's sanitv, Dent went 
to New York. That was in 1931. 
The publisher who called Dent 
away from his Associated Press job in 
Tulsa was Dell. He wrote stories for 
their War Aces, War Birds, All 
Western, Western Romances and All 
Detective. He eventually wrote for 
many of the other pulp outfits and 
had sold to Street & Smith's Popular 
and Top Notch before taking up the 
Savage assignment. Though much of 
the pulp writing Dent did sounds 
like the work of a man who is enjoy- 
ing himself, he often privately re- 
ferred to it as "crud." Asked to 
explain Doc Savage to a reporter, 
Dent said, "He has the clue-follow- 
ing ability of Sherlock Holmes, the 
muscular tree-swinging ability of 
Tarzan, the scientific sleuthing of 

"A giant who towered four inches 
over six feet. His face was severe, 
his mouth thin and grim. This 
was 'Renny' or Colonel John 
Renwick." Known for engineer- 
ing skill. 

This illustration originally appeared in 
the March 1936 DOC SAVAGE 
MAGAZINE, "The Metal Masters." 
All illustrations- are reprinted by 
permission oj Conde Nast 
Publications, Inc. 

Craig Kennedy and the morals of 
Jesus Christ." 

The first issue of Doc Savage 
Magazine was dated March, 1933, 
and sold for ten cents. The Baum- 
hofer cover showed a slightly tat- 
tered Doc standing in front of a 
piece of Mayan ruin that had several 
sinister natives lurking behind it. 
Baumhofer, who did every cover of 
the magazine for the next several 
years, has yet to read a Doc Savage 
novel. He usually based his cover 
paintings on a short synopsis pro- 

vided by one of the art editors. He 
got seventy-five dollars per oil 
painting. The interior illustrations 
were drawn by Paul Orban. Orban 
followed directions and so inside the 
new magazine Doc did indeed look 
like Clark Gable for awhile. "I 
actually read all the stories," Orban 
told me. "The editors never inter- 
fered or suggested what to draw. 
The artists were on their own . . . The 
going price was fifteen dollars a 
drawing and thirty dollars for a 
double page spread." Unlike Baum- 
hofer, who never encountered Lester 
Dent, Orban did meet him once, 
though briefly, 

The maiden Doc Savage adven- 
ture was titled "The Man Of 
Bronze." This inaugural novel about 
Clark Savage, Jr. and his group is 
written in a breathless turgid prose 
that is not characteristic of Dent and 
probably indicates some editorial 
committee work. It begins, "There 
was death afoot in the darkness," 
and ends, "The giant bronze man 
and his five friends would confront 
undreamed perils as the very depths 
of hell itself crashed upon their 
heads. And through all that, the 
work of Savage would go on!" In 
between the reader is introduced to 
Doc, who possesses "an unusually 
high forehead, a mobile and 


muscular, but not too-Full mouth, 
lean checks." He looks like a statue 
sculptured in bronze, is what he 
looks like, and "most marvelous of 
all were his eyes. They glistened like 
pools of flake gold." He also has nice 
teeth. "This man was Clark Savage, 
Jr. Doc Savagel The man whose 
name was becoming a byword in the 
odd corners of the world!" This 
exclamatory novel also introduces 

melodrama. Dent's sense of humor 
moved closer to the surface and by 
the mid 1930s the Doc Savage 
adventures had some resemblance to 
the screwball movies of the period. 
He was more and more mixing 
adventure and detective elements 
with wackiness and producing a sort 
of pulpwood equivalent of films The 
Thin Man, Gunga Din, and China 
Seas. These movies, despite different 

"He looks like a statue sculptured in bronze. 

Doc's crew of five, walking into 
Doc's headquarters atop one of the 
tallest buildings in New York. 

The rest of the first novel details 
Doc's avenging the recent death of 
his father, exploring Mayan ruins in 
the Central American republic of 
Hidalgo, unmasking a villain known 
as the Feathered Serpent and 
finding enough gold to finance the 
remaining years of his pulp career. 

In the issue after this came a lost 
world novel, "The Land of Terror," 
and next a Southern swamp adven- 
ture, "Quest of the Spider." As the 
series progressed a distinct Dent-type 
of book developed. The dime novel 
aura which was present in the first 
stories faded and both the plots and 
the prose dropped much of their 

"Last came the most remarkable 
character of all. Only a few 
inches over five feet, he weighed 
better than two hundred pounds. 
He had the build of a gorilla. . . 

locales and themes, shared a fooling- 
around quality that was current 
then in a good many Hollywood 
pictures. In his Doc Savage novels 
Dent pushed the usual pulp 
adventure and science fiction plots 
often quite close to parody, whether 
he was dealing with infernal 
machines, plagues, master thieves, 
pixies or ogres. While quite a few of 
his competitors can now be read for 
their unconscious humor, all of the 
laughs in Dent are intentional. He 
excelled in devising villains who 
were both bizarre and baggy- 
pantsed. For instance: 

Off to one side was a child's crib. 
It was an elaborate thing, with 
carvings and gilt inlays, and here 
and there rows of pearl studding 
. . . .The crib was about four feel 
long. The man who occupied it 
had plenty of room . . . .He was a 
little gem of a man. 

His face had that utter hand- 
someness which pen-and-ink art- 
ists give their heroes in the love 
story magazines. He wore little 
bathing trunks and a little bath- 
robe, smoked a little cigar in a' 
little holder, and a toy glass on a 
rack at the side held a toy drink in 
which leaned a toy swizzle stick. 

Dent was also partial to slender, 
salty tomboy heroines and they 
appear in most of his novels: 

Tlie big eyes were blue, a nice 
shade. There was more about her 
that was nice, too. Her nose, the 
shape of her mouth. Long Tom 
had a weakness for slender girls, 
and this one was certainly slender. 
She wore stout leather boots, 
shorts, a khaki pith helmet. 

"Don't stand there staring!" she 

Brigadier General Theodore 
Marly Brooks, "Ham", was 
"slender, waspy, quick-moving 
. . .and possibly the most astute 
lawyer Harvard ever turned out." 

snapped. "I want a witness! Some- 
body to prove I saw it." 

She was a redhead, In height, 
she would have topped Doc's 
shoulder a bit. . . .Altogether her 
features could hardly have been 
improved upon. She wore an 
amazing costume — a loose, bro- 
caded Russian blouse, drawn in at 
the waist with a belt fashioned of 
parallel lines of gold coins. From 
this dangled a slender, jewelled 
sword which Doe was certain 
dated back at least four centuries. 
There was also an efficient, spike- 
nosed, very modern automatic 

Dent's action was often presented 
in choppy, quick-cut movie style. As 
in this assault from the novel, "Red 
Snow" : 

Doc Savage put on speed. He 
came in sight of the basement 
window just in time to see the 
gold-hosed legs of his quarry dis- 
appearing inside. Then, in the 
basement, a man saw Doc and 
bellowed profanely. What might 
have been a thick-walled steel 
pipe of small diameter jutted out 
of the window. Its tip acquired a 
flickering red spear-point of 
flame. The weapon was an auto- 
matic rifle of military calibre and 
its roar volleyed through the 

Doc Savage had rolled behind a 
palm, which, after the fashion of 
palms when stunted, was extreme- 
ly wide at the base. The tree shud- 
dered, and dead leaves loosened 
and fluttered in the wind. A 
cu pro- nickel -jacketed slug came 
entirely through the bole. More 
followed. The bole began to split. 
The racket was terrific. 
He also worked out a distinctive 
and personal way of starting a story. 
These were often abrupt and unlike 
the usual slow and moody Street & 
Smith openings so much favored by 
writers like Walter Gibson. For 

When Ethel's Mama blew up, she 
shook the earth in more ways than 

When the plane landed on a 
farmer's oat-stubble field in the 
Mississippi bottoms near St. Louis, 
the time was around ten in the 

The farmer had turned his 
cattle onto the stubble field to 
graze, and among the animals was 
a rogue bull which was a horned 
devil with strangers. 

The bull charged the aviator. 

The flier killed the bull with a 

The street should be very clean. 
The long-faced man had been 
sweeping it since daylight, 

"Next was Major Thomas J, 
Roberts, dubbed 'Long Tom'. 
Long Tom was the physical 
weakling of the crowd. . . .He 
was a wizard with electricity." 

the magazine created a Doc Savage 
Credo, organized a Doc Savage Club 
and offered portraits. lapel pins and a 
gold award for deserving nominees. 

Never completely reverent of Doc, 
Dent extemporized abilities for him 
that went beyond the wildest talents 
of your average everyday super- 
hero. In one novel, for instance, Doc 
Savage displays not only a remark- 
able knack for fashion designing but 
an exceptional skill for leading a 
dance band. 

Doc Savage Magazine proved to 
be another best-selling title for Street 
& Smith and it stayed on the stands 
for sixteen years all told. The peri- 
odical remained monthly until after 
the war and then declined down 
through bi-monthly and finally 
quarterly publication. There were 
181 separate novels devoted to Doc 
Savage, all credited to Kenneth 
Robeson. Of these Dent seems to 
have written all but about two 
(Continued on page 58) 

Ron Ely, the six-foot five, Texas born, television Tarzan will play the Man of 
Bronze in the Warner Brothers movie of the same name. In the background is the 
painting used on Bantam 's paperback version of THE MAN OF BRONZE. 

""oihi ucrh 

TIHI(BT"S UyiHIfiTlSOftmi!!"" 

Bv Michael Valenti 

You've probably seen all of these actors before, and you know their faces well, but 
their names. . .well, test yourself. How many do you know? 

1. The shifty eyes, ragged mouth and air of false bravura 
made him a natural for Gangland, U.S.A. Yet, surprisingly, 
he rarely played a mobster. But whatever operation he ran 
was sure to be a shady one : if he was a nightclub owner, 
hoods gravitated to it; if he was a captain or first mate on 
a tramp steamer, you could lay odds there was illicit cargo 
onboard; even when he played a cop he was at least on 
the take— if not actually in with the Syndicate. But despite 
his scheming ways, he seldom survived to the last reel. 

3. II the crue lest prison system in the country was recruit- 
i-ij captains nationwide, his resume would be ranked No. 
1 He also patrolled shunting yards as a railroad dick who 
ini|oyed working over hoboes who fell under the mercy of 
his hilty. If he turned up as a nightclub owner or business- 
man, the crumpled black suits, the shifty eyes and air of 
porcine depravity told you it was a shady operation. Bui 
beneath the sneer-to the delight of audiences -there 
was a vein of cravenness. 

2. Whether as a nosey neighbor, officious nurse or secre 
tary, she was always eager to zero in on trouble aid 
then say or do whatever would most speedily bring the 
crisis to fever pitch. The face and tall boyish body told the 
whole story. The voyeur's eyes and receding chin made 
the nose look longer and pointier. Flat and emotionless, 
the voice was the tipoff on the emptiness within that fired 
up the lust for snooping. Nevertheless, you could almost 
feel sorry for her, for by Hollywood's romantic standards 
she was doomed to perpetual cinematic spinsterhcnd 

4 The soul of amiability, he usually turned up as the burly 
sheriff who believed in fair play and managed to run his 
town with his gunholstered most of the time. You had the 
I eelmg he was too well liked to he bushwhacked, even by 
the scurvy bunch from the Bar- None Ranch who thun- 
doeri into town on weekends in search of a little genial 
rape and mayhem and other western diversions. In civ- 
vies, he emanated even more affability, generally sporting 
a bow ne, pipe and rumpled tweed jacket-and the per 
snna'ity id go with it. Friendly, sometimes to the point of 
bemg garrulous, he is probably one of the most likeable 
character actors to ever have salvaged a hopeless script. 

5. Nobody exemplified the Depression years better than 
this sharp -faced scourge of those foolish enough to buy 
on credit. In dozens of movies, he must have reclaimed 
every ilem of furniture listed in the Sears Roebuck cata- 
logue. And when he wasn't pitilessly depriving babies of 
their bathinettes or octogenarians of their false teeth, tie 
generally turned up in court as a fast-talking shyster 
finding outrageous lega! precedents to confound every 
judge who ever rode the cinema circuit. 

7. Whether guilty or innocent, he seemed bom for the gas 
chamber. Me nearly always turned up snarling, but you 
knew before you got half way through the popcorn the 
snarl was going to turn into a whimper. Even when, on 
rare occasions, the Governor came through with an 11th- 
hour reprieve, either it got there too late because the 
phone wires were down-or someone gratuitously knifed 
in the prison mess hall that night. 

6. It Elisha Cook Jr. never knew what was going on - 
even when the bodies began to drop around him-this 
amiable professional Irishman always did. As a wise- 
cracking bartender or garrulous cabbie, he was usually on 
the fringes of the underworld but not of it. Quick thinking, 
full of snap and ginger, he was never surprised by the turn 
of events or shocked hy sordidness or wholesale may- 
hem. He had the cynical savvy of the survivor and could 
probably talk his way out of a maximum-security prison. 

* > 

10. He played dumb Swedes and dirt farmers, and despite 
his tender eyes and soft voice, someone, especially fate, 
was sure to play him dirt. If he owned a restaurant, it was 
held up regularly; if he was a sod buster, he had a brood 
of nine, a worn-out look and invariably called his wife 
"Mamma"; if he shipped out in World War II, you could 
automatically chalk up another bottom for the German 
wolf packs that lurked just outside Halifax. Cinema tically, 
he never had a prayer. 

8 Through the Depression he played starving artists or 
philosophical bums, sometimes combining the two in 
beautifully eccentric portraits that somehow never lost 
their Old-World dignity. With the appearance of war 
clouds over Europe, he joined the Hollywood Battalion of 
Professional Anti Fascists. He could show bravery with 
the twinkle of an eye or the shrug of a shoulder, and went 
off to die almost cheerfully with guerrilla hands that 
almost always suffered heavy losses. 

9. If a film hero ran into a Mexican banditto, this cross- 
eyed black bear of a man sloppily swilling down tequila 
was apt to be the one. His lazy insinuating voice told you 
there was trouble ahead, despite the ingratiating smile. 
He could be sentimental or sadistic -sometimes both at 
the same time-and was a treacherous as the Colorado 

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{Continued from page 55) 
dozen. The official Street & Smith 
records, now looked after by Conde 
Nast Publications, show nine Doc 
Savage novels are the work of the 
ubiquitous Norman Daniels, four 
are by Alan Hathway and three by 
William Bogart. All three men were 
S&S hacks in the 30s and 40s. 
Laurence Donovan, another undis- 
tinguished workhorse, is also some- 
times mentioned as having con- 
tributed to the corpus. The major 
period of ghosting was in 1936 and 
1937. According to Frank Gruber, 
"along about 1936 Lester Dent 
began to tire of Doc Savage. He 
thought the stories too juvenile and 
he thought that he should be trying 
to write more adult fiction." During 
these same years Dent acquired the 
forty-foot Albatross, which he refer- 
red to as his "treasure hunt 
schooner," and he was spending a 
good deal of time aboard it. Besides 
the ghost writers who made the 
official list at Street & Smith, Dent 
hired a few others on the side. 
Ryerson Johnson, an affable little 
pulp writer, remembers doing at 
least three Doe Savages in 1935. "I 
did "Land Of Always Night,'" he 
told me. "Another one, and some- 
thing about the Galapagos Islands 
and giant turtles." Dent made $750 
per novel and he paid Johnson $500 
out of that. Johnson remembers 
being handed $500 in cash on a 
street corner in Manhattan after 
doing the giant turtle book. 

As a merchandising property Doc 
Savage didn't equal The Shadow. 
There were no movies, no serials. 
There was a radio show, but it ran 
only in the East during one wartime 
summer. The Doc Savage comic 
book never did well either. A 
number of cartoonists drew the 
feature, including William A. 
Smith, later a Saturday Evening Post 
illustrator and currently a gallery 
painter. As with many of their later 
characters, Street & Smith's timing 
was off. They didn't think of using 
him as a comic book hero until 1940 
and by then there was Superman. 
It's obvious Jerry Siegel and Joe 
Shuster had recognized Doc Savage's 
potential much earlier. Dedicated 
pulp readers, the two young Cleve- 
land boys borrowed considerably 

from Dent's character for their own 
super-hero. It isn't because of 
coincidence that Superman's name is 
Clark Kent and that he was initially 
billed as the Man of Steel. 

In the pulp magazines themselves 
there were a number of imitation 
Docs. None of them, such as Captain 
Hazard, survived beyond the 30s. 
Street & Smith tried, too, most 
notably with a sea-faring adventurer 
named Cap Fury. The captain and 
his crew had their own magazine for 
awhile. It was called The Skipper 
and the busy Norman Daniels 
ghosted the novels. 

Lester Dent died just ten years 
after his character had folded. That 
was in 1959 while he was, once 
more, on a treasure hunting cruise. 
A year prior to that, Dent, who 
never substantially realized his 
ambition to progress to slicks and 
best sellers, was asked to reminisce 
about his pulp days. He had by then 
written hundreds of short stories and 
nearly two hundred novels, earning 
as much as $4,000 a month. All he 
spoke well of out of all that material 

It isn't because of coinci- 
dence that Superman's 
name is Clark Kent and 
that he was initially 
billed as the Man of 

were the two short stories he'd done 
for Black Mask in the 1930s. He sold 
the stories, both of which dealt with 
a lean Florida detective named Sail, 
to editor Joseph Shaw. He admired 
Shaw for being "gentle with his 
writers. You went into Black Mask 
and talked with him, you felt you 
were doing fiction that was power- 
ful, you had feelings of stature." In 
1936 Shaw was fired from the 
magazine. This, Lester Dent felt, "is 
what kept me from becoming a fine 
writer. Had I been exposed to the 
man's cunning hand for another 
year or two, I couldn't have missed 
. . . .Instead I wrote reams of sale- 
able crap which became my pattern, 
and gradually there slipped away 
the bit of power Shaw had started 
awakening in me." IrefSl 

(Continued from page 50) 
you. Collars up. cuffs in the pants, 
and when the cuffs were off, it was a 
14 inch peg tapered right down. 
Everything was cool, and sometimes 
today you wonder how much it 
really changed, and then you put on 
the radio and don't hear the heart 
rendering sounds of The Platters, or 
see Jerry Lee Lewis on television. 
(He didn't seem half as wild as 
people said he was, even though his 
three biggies came on pretty strong). 
There was Richie Valens, but not 
much later he's killed in a plane 
crash with J. P. Richardson (The Big 
Bupper) and Buddy Holly— who was 
really a rocker. 

Dion showed us that a lead singer 
could be everything to everyone and 
Ed Sullivan introduced Johnny Cash 
and The Tennessee Two, (Luther 
Perkins and Marshall Grant), as the 
next Elvis. But Ole Johnny stayed 
country and became the first Johnnv 
Cash. Though in 1958, his "Ballad of 
a Teenage Queen"showed a fine flair 
for really good country/rock, similar 
to early Roy Orbison (Orbison, pre- 
"Only The Lonely"). The Coasters 
brand of rock 'n roll — thanks to their 
writer /producer geniuses, Lieber & 
Stoller— rose miles above the tradi- 
tional novelty songs by creating 
humorous songs that portrayed the 
life and times of the latter 50s very 
accurately: "Charlie Brown", Yak- 
ety-Yak", "Poison Ivy", etc. Lieber 
& Stroller along with Doc Pom us 
and Mort Shuman were the writing 
team wizards and Chuck Berry was 
the chief rock poet, knocking out 
words and music that went directly 
to where you lived, in school, out of 
school and on the open road. 

You're out there on the side streets 
in your '53 Chevy, skirts on, lowered 
in the back by a 200 pound bag of 
sand in the trunk, Caddy hub-caps, 
and the top is down. You're heading 
from Cherry Street out to Main 
Street and the Everly Brother are 
singing "Til I Kissed You" on your 
radio. You hit Main Street, chipping 
some rubber out of second gear and 
leap into third. It starts raining, a 
few big drops first, and pretty soon 
it's pouring. So you turn it up all the 
way. . .letting the music drown out 
the rain. . ."Never knew what I 
missed, Til I kissed you. . ." |fe|H 



By Ron Fry 

Fifteen years before America 
said goodbye to the sim- 
ple, isolated life for- 
ever and came of age 
by entering the Sec- 
ond World War, 
Howard Hughes 
reached his major- 
ity. (And he's 
been at least fif- 
teen years ahead 
of the rest of the 
country ever since 
Hughes had been 
an orphan since he 
was eighteen, and 
now as a man he faced 
the world alone — bravely 
to be sure — but with a terri- 
ble handicap. 

His uncle, Rupert Hughes, writing 
in a 1937 Liberty magazine said that 
Howard had been left in complete 
control of a great factory and a great 
fortune, "and in daily life what 
could be a more dreadful handicap 
to any child than being the son of a 
rich and brilliant man? Starting 
from scratch and handicapped with 
all those riches?" 

But Hughes overcame that severe 
handicap admirably and went on to 
become a richer and more brilliant 
man than his father had ever been. 
He is a legendary King Midas with 
an international reputation for 
derring-do and a penchant for the 
unusual — A trait that many would 
label downright eccentricity and 
unhealthy isolation. However, in 

1926 Howard was still young and 
not so inaccessible as he was later to 
become. There were worlds for him 
to create and conquer, and the first 
he tackled was the make-believe one 
of Hollywood. 

"He took up motion pictures 
because they fascinated him," wrote 
Rupert. "And made some of the 
biggest pictures ever turned out. His 
interest in aviation and years of 
flying led him to select for his 
magnum opus an aviation epic 
which he called Hell's Angels. " 

Prior to that particular magnum 
opus, Hughes had tested the celluoid 
waters of Hollywood by putting up 
the ' money for Marshall Neilan's 
Everybody's Acting {released in 

1926). Since he realized a reported 
return on his investment of 
nearly 50%, Hughes de- 
cided to jump into 
the silvery lake feet 

His next project, in 
association with 
John Considine, 
was a melodra- 
matic comedy, 
Two Arabian 
Knights, directed 
by Lewis Milestone 
(the director of 
Front Page) and star- 
ing Louis Wolheim and 
and William Boyd. This 
film was also a success, which 
didn't dampen Hughes enthusiasm 
any, so he decided to form his own 
production company. Caddo was 
named in honor of some Louisiana 
oil fields from which his father had 

Again the idea came from Mar- 
shall Neilan. It was perfect for 
Hughes for the story concerned air 
warfare during World War I. 

Above: Lyon, Harlow and Hall. 
"The picture is to the brim with .sex, " 
VARIETY said in it's 1930 review of the 
film. "It won't teach the modern young- 
sters anything, but it will certainly give 
'em an idea of themselves in action . . . 
[Jean Harlow ivill] probably always 
have to play these kind of roles, but 
nobody ever starved possessing what 
she's got." 


Whether Hughes actually 

spent four million on the 

picture is subject to 

debate, however this 

poster proclaims the fact 

that the money spent was a 

selling point. 

Caddo borrowed a director from 
Paramount and hired James Hall 
and Ben Lyon to play the two major 
male roles. Greta Nissen— a Norwe- 
gian beauty — was hired to play the 
female lead. Hughes also borrowed a 
director from Paramount, Luther 
Reed. "But Reed, who had been an 
aviation editor for the New York 
Herald and knew the air, had ideas 
of his own, and friction developed to 
such a point that one day, after an 
earnest talk. Reed resigned and 
Howard announced that he would 
direct the picture himself," accord- 
ing to Ruppert Hughes. 

James Hall and Ben Lyon did not 
give their hearty approval to the 
change as Hughes was a novice in 
film and they were seasoned actors, 
but they stayed on. 

"Hollywood was Howard's class- 
room," Millstone once remarked. 
"He was learning about movies. He 
was the type of person who could 
never accept anything as the truth 
unless he had learned it or 
experienced it personally for himself, 
He would not take anyone's word; 
he had to do it and then store it 
away for that genius mind of his." 

The plot of the magnum opus — 
Hell's Angels — was slim, to say the 
least. It concerned the competition 
of two handsome young British 
pilots as they vied for the attention 
of an English society girl. But the 
plot was, after all, merely a frame- 
work for Hughes' real interest — the 
chance to portray the exciting aerial 
battle of British and German flyers. 

The film was to be silent. Talkies 

were not to make their thunderous 
debut until 1929, the year the first 
version of Hell's Angels was finished. 
So the fact that Greta Nissen spoke 
little English was of no matter. She 
could have recited her favorite 
Norwegian pastry recipes and 
Hughes couldn't have cared less. 

Two million dollars (an amount 
unprecedented in pre-Hughes Holly- 
wood) and a little over a year later, 
the film premiered in Los Angeles. 
The first camera rolled in October 
1927 and in March 1929, an audi- 
ence sat down to watch the movie. 
They apparently sat on their hands, 
for they made less noise than the 
whirring of the projector as the 
dashing British pilots gallantly 
pursued the love of the fluttering 
Norwegian beauty in stoned silence. 

She was the girl "With The Platinum Blonde Hair. 

The audience watched as machine 
guns jittered noiselessly overhead 
and flaming aircraft disappeared 
into silent seas. 

Sitting in a stone silence of his own, 
Hughes realized that he had sunk 
two million dollars into a tongue-tied 
turkey. His advisors pleaded with 
him to release the film anyway. Or 
at least recall it and dub in fight 
noises, leaving just the actors silent. 
But Hughes paid them no attention, 
he was too busy listening to that 
voice inside his own head. And he 
did the characteristically unconven- 
tional. Like a gambler who could 
only hope to win back his boat by 
betting his house, Hughes decided to 
completely remake the picture, and 
make it "One Hundred Percent All- 
Talking!" as the billboards across the 
country were beginning to dub the 
new sound movies. 

Everything had to be reshot— 
with the notable exception of the 
aerial battles. Those sounds could be 
dubbed into the sound track, but the 
actor's voices couldn't. 

The screen play was written and 
the main actors and actresses were 
given voice tests. Lyon and Hall 
passed, but Greta did not. Her thick 
Norwegian accent was hardly ac- 
ceptable coming from an English 
society lady. She was paid off and 
Hughes began a search for his new 

leading lady. He wanted an 
unknown for several reasons; he 
didn't want the extra problem of 
directing an established star who 
knew more than he did about movie 
making; he wished to start a stable 
of stars for Caddo, and he enjoyed 
the feeling of creating a new star. 

Gossip spread quickly and soon all 
of Hollywood knew Hughes was 
looking for an unknown to star in his 
film. Dozens of hopefuls came to his 
office, among them Ann Harding, 
June Collyer and a willowy blonde 
named Carol Peters. (Carol Peters 
never worked under that name, but 

after a few dramatic lessons and a 
few breaks, she did quite well as 
Carole Lombard.) 

Hughes finally decided to gamble 
on an ash-blonde bit player from the 
early Laurel and Hardy short 
comedies named Harlene Carpenter. 
The girl was very pretty and could at 
least sound like an English socialite 
. . .well, almost. Hughes signed her 
to a $125.00 a week contract and 
ordered her hair bleached even 
more. Hughes and his publicity men 
made her a star. She became the girl 
with "The Platinum Blonde Hair." 

In the midst of all this, the 

Above with Eddie Kane in GOLDIE. 
Right Harlow poses for a studio publicity 

depression hit, leaving Hughes 
shaken, but still wealthy. He had 
other worries as well, since his wife 
had left him, taking a $1.25 million 
divorce settlement with her. 

Hughes threw himself totally into 
finishing the remake, determined to 
succeed at all cost. When the picture 
was finally completed and released 
in May, 1930, it premiered at 
Grauman's Famous Chinese Theater 
in Hollywood. This time it clicked. 
Hughes had spent almost three years 
and a reported four million dollars 
on the film— an amount subject to 
dispute — but his gamble paid off; 
the film eventually grossed over 
seven million. 

Hughes produced five more 
pictures in the year following the 
release of Heirs Angels, and intro- 
duced Pat O'Brien in Front Page, 
Paul Muni in Scarface, and — among 
others — George Raft and Karen 
Morley, but the Platinum Blonde 
was a Hughes special, one of a kind. 
There is an interesting sidelight 

about the making of Hughes' movie, 
which Howard Hawks discussed in a 
1974 issue of Film Comment. At the 
time Hughes was finishing his movie 
in 1930, Hawks was making Dawn 
Patrol. Hughes felt that Hawks had 
stolen the end of his movie and used 
it as the ending of Dawn Patrol. 

"As far as the end of the picture," 
Hawks said, "I told Hughes years 
ago I didn't think he made the scene 
very good in Hell's Angels and I 
made it again. The only thing we cut 
out of it was one line, 'Draw your 
gun.' It played better without that 
line. . . .Hughes sent down a battery 
of lawyers: we'd have won if we'd 
wanted to defend it, but finally I cut 
it out and it was better. I had a 
hangover one Sunday morning and 
Hughes showed up at the house and 
said, "I'm making a picture called 
Hell's Angels. I'm making a scene of 
a flyer getting shot in the chest and 
the plane explodes. You've got the 
same scene in your picture. I don't 
want you to do it." I said, 'Howard, 

I make pictures for a living; you 
make them for fun. I got a hang- 
over; I'm not interested in talking 
about it.' 

"So he got his writer to go to my 
secretary and offer two hundred 
dollars for a script. She told me 
about it, and I had a couple of 
detectives hiding in her closet. When 
the guy offered her the money, they 
said, 'You're under arrest.' Hughes 
called me and said, 'Hey, you've got 
that writer of mine in jail.* And I 
said, Tou son of a bitch, hell stay 
there.' He said, 'What did you do 
that for?* I said, 'I don't like 
anybody corrupting a nice girl. If 
you had wanted the script why 
didn't you ask me for it?' He said, 
'Would you have given it to me?' I 
said 'Sure, I would have. You can't 
own a scene like that. A person that 
gets shot riding in an airplane almost 
always gets shot in the chest.' So he 
was doing everything he could to 
keep our picture from coming out 
before his. People do strange things." 

The girl who was to star in Hell's 
Angels was born in Kansas 
City, Missouri on March 3, 
1911 to a Kansas City dentist Mont- 
clair Carpenter and his wife, the 
former Jean Harlow. Her parents 
were divorced when Harleen was 
ten and she and her mother moved 
to Los Angeles. Although they stayed 
in LA only three years, apparently 
the California climate agreed with 
Harleen for when she eloped with 
Charles McGrew in 1927, they 
headed straight for LA. Harleen was 
sixteen . 

The young Mrs. McGrew had a 
girl friend who was doing bit parts 
in movies and she helped Harleen 
get a card from Central Casting. 
Harleen began to get bit parts and 
extra work in such films as Hal 
Roach's 1928 Laurel and Hardy 
comedy Double Whoopee and 
Charlie Chaplin's City Lights. She 
got her first billing in Paramount's 
Saturday Night Kid which starred 
Clara Bow, but her big break came 
when Howard Hughes selected her 
as the unknown to star in his second, 
talking version of Hell's Angels. She 
was on her way up and in 1931, the 
year after Hell's Angels was released, 
she appeared in five films: The 
Secret Six (April, 1931) with Wallace 
Beery, John Mack Brown, and Clark 
Gable; The Iron Man with Lew 
Ayres and Robert Armstrong (April, 
1931); The Public Enemy (May, 
1931). Goldie with Spencer Tracy 
(June, 1931), Platinum Blonde with 
Loretta Young and Robert Williams 
(October, 1931.) 

Even though she received top 
billing and success with the public, 
the critics — with few exceptions — 
had only unkind words for her. "A 
plausible character," one said. "Miss 
Harlow looks stunning in clothes, 
but she doesn't exactly get the hang 
of motion picture histronics," wrote 
another. "The acting throughout is 
interesting with the exception of 
Jean Harlow." and "She is a decora- 
tive person but lacks the spark 
needed to shine as a personality." 

In reviewing Hell's Angels, 
Variety at least seemed to detect 
something about Harlow that most 
of the other reviewers had missed; 
"Jean Harlow wafts plenty of 'that' 
across the sheet and dresses to ac- 
centuate it. It doesn't make much 
difference what degree of talent she 
possesses here, for the boys are apt to 
go in an uproar over this girl who is 

the most sensuous figure in front of a 
camera in some time. She'll 
probably always have to play this 
kind of role, but nobody ever starved 
possessing what she's got." 

It was not until 1932 with the 
release of Beast of the City that she 
began to shine with the critics as 
well as the public. And even Irene 
Thirer of the New York Daily News, 
who had previously written that 
Harlow lacked that "spark," now 
said, "Yep, the platinum blonde 
baby really acts in this one." 

Jean Harlow took off from there. 
It was a short life, full of scandal and 
rumor, It was widely believed that 
the blonde hair had some pretty 

dark roots. But when she died on 
June 7, 1937, of a cerebral oedema 
at the age of twenty-six, her millions 
of fans reacted in shocked disbelief. 
There had been no hint that she had 
even been ill. Speculations and wild 
rumors about the "real" cause of her 
death were numerous and wide- 
spread. The fact that the funeral was 
to be private and her coffin un- 
opened only added fuel to the fire. 

In any event, Jean Harlow was 
laid to rest in Forest Lawn's "Sanc- 
tuary of Benediction," in a crypt to 
be named the "Jean Harlow" room, 
with suitable marble and silver 
memorials. But her greatest mem- 
orials were the films she made. 

The Lyay they uuere 

THI fPOlfillM 

Kino ©f mfiiGic 

By Walter Hogan 

. When Fonda Smiles, The Theater Shines." 

He opened in Louisville. Then 
played Chicago. And in late 
March walked onto the stage 
of the Helen Hayes Theater in New 
York City as star of a one-man play : 
Henry Fonda as "Clarence Darrow." 
As usual, he displayed what novelist 
John Steinbeck called "the Fonda 
kind of magic." 

"Count yourself among the lucky 
if you have a ticket," wrote William 
Mootz in his theater review for the 
Louisville Courier-Journal. In his 
review for the New York Times, 
critic Barnes urged everyone, man, 
woman and child to see this play, 
". . .As for Mr. Fonda, it would be 
difficult to think or praise him too 
high." And in the following Sunday's 
Times, Walter Kerr's piece was 
summed up by the headline: "The 
Performance Is Perfect." That must 
have pleased Fonda. And perhaps 
made him think of a time in Omaha 
when his career was just starting. 

In the summer of 1926 Fonda had 
a job with a credit company "filing 
and crossfiling. I was just learning 
the system," he recalled, "when 
Foley [Gregory Foley, director of the 
Omaha Community Playhouse] 
called me to ask if I would play the 
lead in George Kaufman's and Marc 
Connelly's Merton of the Movies — 
the part Glenn Hunter had on 
Broadway. I said yes, but when I 
came home with the news, I was 
greeted by ice. Dad said it wasn't a 
good idea to quit my Retail Credit 
job. And he didn't think I could do 
justice to two things like that." 

Fonda decided that he wanted to 
and felt he could. "It really got to 
the point of an argument. I was 
twenty-one and stubborn, and I said 
I was going to leave home if neces- 
sary." It wasn't, for "Mother was a 
pacifist and she came in and calmed 
things over." Fonda would go to 
work at seven in the morning and 
rehearse the play. 

"So," as Fonda told Mike Steen 
and his tape recorder for the book 

was living in his home and not doing 
what he wanted me to do. This 
routine went on for five or six weeks 
. . .But eventually we opened, and 
my two sisters, my mother, and my 
father came to the theater." 

That opening night "I got my first 
feeling of what acting was all about. 
I liked the whole idea of getting up 
there and being Merton." So did the 
critics. One of the reviews of the 
play said, "Who needs Glenn 

My favorite Fonda performance: Joan Crawford 

Joan Crawford and Dana Andrews co-starred with Henry Fonda, in 
1947, in Daisy Kenyon. In reply to a letter in connection with this 
article, Miss Crawford wrote NOSTALGIA ILLUSTRATED as 
follows : 

"It is very difficult for me to choose a single performance 'of Mr. 
Fonda's as my favorite in his very distinguished career. I think I must 
choose Mr. Roberts, as I saw him in both the stage play and the film. 
Even though I have chosen Mr. Roberts, this does not mean I do not 
value and revere his great talent in drama. It only adds to my deep 
respect for him because of his many-faceted talent. I don't think that 
Hank will ever reach the height of that full, lush, evergreen, flowing 
talent, because he has the distinction of an overflow of abilities bottled 
up in him that seem as though they are almost ready to explode 
momentarily. His dedication and consummate discipline as an actor 
are joys to behold. I am grateful that I had the privilege of working 
with him. I am sorry it had to be only once, because I could have 
learned so much from him." 

Hollywood Speaks, an oral history 
(Putnam, 1974), "I rarely saw any- 
body in my own family. And when I 
did see my father, it was a tense 
situation between us, and we didn't 
speak! He had been overruled, and 1 

"A lean, stringy, dark-faced piece of 
electricity walked out on the screen, 
and he had me, " wrote John Steinbeck 
in a tribute to Henry Fonda's brilliant 
screen portrayal of Tom ]oad in THE 

"He carries with him that excitement which cannot be learned . 

A star in his first film in 1935, Henry 
Fonda recreated his Broadway role 
opposite Janet Gayrwrin THE 

Hunter? We have Henry." And that 
night Fonda was given an ovation. 
His sister Harriet came back to tell 
him the family would wait for him 
at home, since it was so crowded. 

"Eventually I got home," Fonda 
told Steen, "and my family was 
waiting for me in the main room. 
Harriet, my mother, and Jayne were 
in one grouping, and Dad was 
sitting apart in his chair behind a 
paper. Since he and I hadn't spoken 
for weeks, I didn't start it with him. 
I went to them. They were very 
enthusiastic. Everything was super- 
latives, and it went on and on and 
on. Then Harriet said something 
that sounded like it was going to be a 
criticism. She didn't even get to it. 
She said, 'Well, there was one place 
I thought if only — ' And Dad said, 
Shut up! He was perfect!' I've told 
that story many times," added 

Fonda, "and it always grabs me 
because my father was something 
special. When he approved, that 
was putting on the badge! From 
then on I couldn't make a mistake as 
far as my father was concerned." 

Fonda is often reminded of him, 
for, as he told Lillian and Helen Ross 
for The Player (Simon & Schuster, 

1962) : "I look like my father. To this 
day, when I walk past a mirror and 
see my reflection in it, my first 
impression is : That's my father. 
There's a strong Fonda look. It's in 
my sisters, in their children, in my 

Proof of this is the first time direc- 
tor Joshua Logan saw Peter sitting in 
the nursery. In his article, "The 
Fondas I Knew," Logan wrote: "I 
remember walking up the stairs and 
staring into a room where, in a small 
cage-like pen, sat a tiny child with 
huge blue-green eyes. It was Fonda 
staring out at me through those huge 
eyes. I wanted to say, 'You can come 
out now, Hank. I know where 
you're hiding.'" 

Hiding. That's a key word for 
Fonda the actor. As he's said, "Act- 
ing is putting on a mask. The worst 
torture that can happen to me is not 
having a mask to get in back of." To 
another interviewer, he said: "To 
me it's therapy. I grew up very shy 
. . .not that I'm not a self-conscious 
man... But ever since I played in 
that little theater in Omaha when I 
was a kid, I haven't been able to 
wait to get out there on that stage. 
On stage, I was the character: it 
wasn't me, so I didn't have to be self- 

But he almost didn't find theater's 
particular masks of comedy and 
tragedy. His first bent was to 
writing, maybe because his father 
owned a printing company in 

My favorite Fonda performance: Joshua Logan 

Joshua Logan was one of the members of The University Players who 
asked Fonda to join the group in the late 20's. In 1938 when Logan 
directed his first film, / Met My Love Again, Fonda had a starring role. 
And ten years later when Logan and Thomas Heggen collaborated on 
the script for the play Mr, Roberts, they discovered that each had the 
same actor in mind for the role : Fonda. 

When NOSTALGIA ILLUSTRATED asked him to name his 
favorite performance by Mr, Fonda, Mr. Logan replied as follows : 

"Although I should like Mr. Roberts the best as I wrote it for him and 
he was ideal, I really have to say I prefer his Frank James in Jesse 
James. His understated menace completely stole the picture from the 
more flamboyant but juvenile Ty Power. Fonda was powerful but 
scarcely flicked an eyelash. 

"Fonda is a theater saint; he says only what's required — he's dedi- 
cated and seethes with unshowing emotion. 

"Long live Fonda — he helped me be what I am ... " 

Omaha, where he was raised. At age 
ten Fonda wrote a story called "The 
Mouse," told from the mouse's point 
of view, and it was published in a 
newspaper of Dundee (suburb of 
Omaha). Fonda went to the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota "with the idea 
of majoring in journalism," he said, 
"but I was working my way through 
as an athletic director at a settlement 
house so I had no time or energy for 
any of the things college had always 
meant to me. I was so discouraged 
that after two years I quit." He went 
back home in June of '25 and by 
September knew he wasn't going 
back to college. 

That's when theatrical oppor- 
tunity knocked. Or rather phoned. 
And the call came from a friend of 
Fonda's mother, Mrs. Dorothy 
Brando, on the board of the Play- 
house, then starting its second 
season. Mrs. Brando (Name seem 
familiar? She's Marlon's mother.) 
asked Fonda if he'd help out at the 
Playhouse and he did and found it 
was just another odd job until the 
boy slated to play the lead in Philip 
Barry's You and I bowed out in 
order to go back to college. "I was 

available," Fonda recalled, "so I got 
pushed into it." Fonda didn't want 
to do the part. He only did it 
because he was too bashful to say 
strongly, "Don't do this to me. Leave 
me alone." He remembers "the first 
readings and rehearsals only with a 
remembrance of how self-conscious I 
was. I thought everybody was look- 
ing at me. I kept my head down in 
the playbook. I had never even read 
out loud! When I finally did sort of 
look up, and 1 don't know how 
many days it took, they weren't 
looking at me. They all had their 
own problems. So very slowly I 
relaxed enough to look around me." 
He looked around and learned 

With Fred MarMurrai/ and Sylvia 
LONESOME PINE (1936), Henry 
Fonda played a mtiunlaineer^and Al 
Capp found a prototype for Lit Abner! 

brought no argument from his 
father, and he left Nebraska with his 
father's good wishes, arriving in 
1928, in June, when casting is virtu- 
ally at a stand still. So he drove with 
a friend to Cape Cod; no work at the 
Provincetown Playhouse, on by train 
to Dennis, where he did get an un- 
salaried job ("I had the hundred 
dollars, so I stayed") doing backstage 

"When I see Fonda, whether on the stage or screen, he completely 
involves me in whatever he is doing. I can't believe he's anything but 
the part he is playing. You might call him the super-realistic actor. He 
ought to play Iago." 

— Richard Burton, from The Fondas. 

what it was like to put on that im- 
portant theater mask. He stayed at 
the Playhouse for two years, eventu- 
ally became director Foley's paid 
assistant: $500 for a 9-month season. 
His decision to try for the big time 

work at the community playhouse. 
He took the job on the chance that 
something might turn up. It did — in 
the form of a wire from a boy who 
was to play the son in "The Barker," 
saying he was detained in New York, 



came to see me in The Barker' and 
asked me to come and see the group 
do 'The Torch bearers.'" 

Now let Josh Logan pick up the 
story: "The first sound I heard from 
Henry Fonda was his laugh. What a 
laugh he has! It starts with a 
strangled sob, then soars into a 
screech played at the wrong speed. 
You hear it not with your ears but 
your bones. But at the time, it was 
the most beautiful sound I had ever 
heard, because I was on stage trying 
to be funny as Huxley Hossefrosse in 
The Torchbearers ; this unique 
laughter was in the audience and he 
obviously got my message. 

"We met backstage afterwards. I 
had no idea who this strange, shy, 
lanky youth could be as he was being 
introduced to me in my dressing 
room. . .His chest was so caved in 
and his head and pelvis so pushed 
forward that I wasn't sure whether 
he was tall or short, and had to wait 
until the accordion unfolded to learn 
that he was well over six feet. But 
still there was that beautiful male 
face. . .when he whinnied out that 
laugh again and I knew who it had 
been out there in the darkness, I 
loved him immediately." 

So did the rest apparently, for 
Fonda was asked to join. He did 
immediately. And thus became a 
member of The University Players, a 
group of ambitious theater aspirants. 
Though they probably hoped it, 
they couldn't have known then that 
their company was comprised of a 
veritable Milky Way of incipient 
stars soon to shine on stage and 

Henry Fonda was the immediate choice 
oj director John Ford and novelist John 
Steinbeck jor the role oj Tom Joad, here 
with Ma {Jane Darwell) in the 1940 
screen masterpiece, THE GRAPES OF 

"All the other juveniles in the com- 
pany wanted the role, of course, but 
as Fonda told Ray Hagen for an 
article in Films and Filming (June, 
1966), "Whether I had talent or 
not, I couldn't have been righter for 
it. He was a naive boy from the 
farm, and all I had to do was act 

Then came a fortunate occurrence 
which Fonda recalled with affec- 
tion : "A friend of mine from Omaha 
knew a group of undergraduates 
who had organized The University 
Players nearby at Falmouth . He 

My favorite Fonda performance: William A. Wellman 

Director William A. Wellman, asked in Hollywood Speaks if he had 
any favorite actors and actresses, replied : 

"Every director has his opinion. I've used a lot of them from Richard 
Barthelmess to Tab Hunter, and the best actor I've had the pleasure of 
using is Hank Fonda. His performance in The Ox-Bow Incident is one 
of the best I've seen in my life. He looked dirty and tired and played the 
hell out of the character. We got along beautifully. Unfortunately, I 
made only one picture with him ■" 

And in his recently published autobiography, A Short Time for 
Insanity (Hawthorn Books, 1974), Wellman wrote of "Hank Fonda, 
perhaps the best actor I have ever directed, certainly the most dedi- 
cated. Six weeks before we started The Ox-Bow Incident, he ward- 
robed himself, had me okay it, and then lived and probably slept in it. 
The boots, the Levi's, the hat, the shirt, the bandanas became a part of 
Gil Carter (the character he played), not Hank Fonda, because Hank 
had become Gil. He looked it, talked it, felt it, and, by the time we 
were ready to shoot it, smelled it, and his performance was perfection." 

screen in various areas. Besides 
Logan, the group during its run 
included Bretaigne Windust, Kent 
Smith, Myron McCormick, John 
Swope, Charles Leatherbee, Norris 
Houghton, Karl Swenson, Barbara 
O'Neil, Margaret Sullavan, and 
James Stewart, "who was enrolled in 
the company as much for his accor- 
dion as for his acting," according to 
a picture caption in But Not Forgot- 
ten (William Sloane Associates, 
1951), Houghton's delightful ac- 
count of the pleasures and perils of 
the summer theater group's brief 
span. Well, not all that brief. It was 
a five-year run; 1928-1932. 

During the winters when the 
others returned to school, Fonda 
returned to New York to look for 
work — "and starve." For two win- 
ters he worked with The National 
Junior Theater in Washington, 
D.C., where he met Mildred 
Natwick. And he was dismayed to 
learn he could get more work on the 
stock circuit as a scenic designer than 
. actor. After the majority of the 
group was graduated from college, 
in 1931, they followed their summer 
season in Falmouth with a season of 
repertory in Baltimore. 

In Christmas week of 1931, Henry 
Fonda married Margaret Sullavan in 
the dining room of the Baltimore 
repertory company. Fonda said 
later: "It was the first marriage for 
both of us and it didn't last long. She 
was established and I had to find a 

He found a bit on Broadway in / 
Loved You Wednesday in 1932, the 

Tyrone Power was JESSE JAMES 
(1939) and Henry Fonda played his 
brother Frank. 

George Brent and Henry Fonda were 
two of the men subjected to the mali- 
cious charms oj the pre-Civil War New 
Orleans belle, played by Oscar-win- 
ning Bette Davis as JEZEBEL (1938). 

same year Foley asked him to "guest 
star" ("even though I hadn't done 
anything") back in Omaha in a play 
of his choice. He selected J.M. 
Barrie's A Kiss For Cinderella (he'd 
played it in Falmouth with Sullavan 
and in Washington with Natwick in 
a Children's Theatre production). 
They staged a talent hunt for the 
title role. And Fonda remembers the 
13-year-old girl who "played the 
audition scene with me and had 
everybody bawling. So that was it. 
She played Cinderella. Her name? 
Dorothv McGuire. 

"What a laugh he has! You hear it not with your ears but in your bones." 

Director William Welltnan and Fonda 
fought to make the critically acclaimed 

(1943), a study of lynch mob violence. 
In this scene with Fonda : Ted North, 
Victor Kilian. Henry Morgan, and 
Harry Davenport. 

In 1933 Fonda had a small part in 
Forsaking All Others, starring Tal- 
lulah Bankhead, who had cast 
approval. Savs Fonda: "I was 28 
and looked 18. When Tallulah asked 
me my age, and I told her, she said, 
'Knock it off, sonny!' But I got the 
part anyway." 

Then— in 1934— things began to 
happen. He appeared in the first 
edition of Leonard Sillman's New 
Faces. Doing what? Comedy skits 
with Imogene Coca. Leland Hay- 
ward spotted him, put him under 
contract and began to manage his 
career. He managed a deal of $1,000 

a week with Walter Wanger for two 
pictures each summer — "'and I could 
go back to the theatre in the winter!" 
Fonda went back to Mt. Kisco to 
finish out the season. He appeared in 
Molnar's The Swan with Geoffrey 
Kerr and so impressed June Walker 
(Mrs. Kerr) that she suggested to 
author Marc Connelly (one of the 
authors of Merton of the Movies, you 
recall) that Fonda play opposite her 
in his new play, The Fanner Takes a 
Wife, which was to be her next 
Broadway show. 

Fonda got the part. The play 
opened Oct. 30, 1934 and was an 
instant hit. Miss Walker got the 
superlatives, of course, but Fonda 
got good notices. 

When Fox bought the play for 
films, Janet Gaynor was their big- 

gest female star. To play opposite 
her they wanted Gary Cooper or 
Joel McCrea, both unavailable. 
Then Fonda had his chance. He may 
have had bits on Broadway, but in 
movies he started as a star, and that 
put him one up on most of his 
contemporaries — Stewart, Grant, 
Wayne, Cooper, Power, Milland, 
Gable, Bogart et al, who first played 
secondary roles or less. Fox paid 
Wanger $5,000 a week for Fonda. 
And Wanger gave Fonda half the 
overage. "He was a nice man," said 
Fonda. "I got $1,000 a week from 
Wanger, plus half the overage, 
which came to $2,000— so I got 
$3,000 a week for my first picture." 
He also got an important acting 
lesson from director Victor Fleming 
"The first day on the set," said 




The Films and Plays of Henry Fonda 
1935 through 1955 

The Farmer Takes a Wife, Way Down East, I Dream Too 


Trail of the Lonesome Pine, The Moon's Our Home, Spendthrift 

You Only Live Once, Wings of Morning, Slim, That Certain 


I Met My Love Again, Jezebel, Blockade, Spawn of the North, 

The Mad Miss Manton 

Jesse James, Let Us Live, Alexander Graham Bell, Young Mr. 

Lincoln, Drums Along the Mohawk 

The Grapes of Wrath, Lillian Russell, The Return of Frank 

James, Chad Hanna, The Lady Eve 

Wild Geese Calling, You Belong to Me 

The Male Animal, Rings on Her Fingers, The Magnificent 

Dope, The Tales of Manhattan, The Big Street 

The Immortal Sergeant, The Ox-Bow Incident 

My Darling Clementine 

The Long Night, The Fugitive, Daisy Kenyon 

A Miracle Can Happen, Fort Apache, Jigsaw 

Mister Roberts (on Broadway and on tour) 

Point of No Return (on Broadway and on tour) 
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (on Broadway) 
Mister Roberts (film) 

Fonda, "we were shooting scene 34 

or whatever it was. We rehearsed it 
and just before we were ready to 
take it, Victor took me aside and put 
his arm around my shoulder and 
said, 'Hank' — he didn't know quite 
how to say it — 'you're mugging.' 

"That's a dirty word to me. I was 
in shock for a moment, but then I 
realized that I was giving the same 
performance I had been giving for 
months in the theater in New York. 
That's all that was ever said to me 
and I learned a big lesson, because 
that big lens of the camera is the 
audience; that's the back row and 
the front row and all the rows and 
the microphone there. In other 
words, on film you do it exactly the 
same way you would do it in reality. 
. . .The camera and the microphone 
do it for you. For me, this was just 
total heaven." 

And Fonda's first movie reviews 
must have seemed like total heaven, 
too. Said Andre Sennwald in The 
New York Times: "Mr. Fonda, in his 
film debut, is the bright particular 
star of the occasion. As the virtuous 
farm boy, he plays with an im- 
mensely winning simplicity which. 

(1946). Roy Roberts opens the door for 
Wyatt Earp. Fonda's first screen role 
after lti.\ service in the Navy, and his 
first Western with Director John Ford. 

will quickly make him one of our 
most attractive screen actors." 
That same year, '35, Fox wanted 
to re-team Fonda and Gaynor, but 
she withdrew from the film and was 
replaced by Rochelle Hudson in 
"Way Down East." And for Lily 
Pons' film debut, RKO arranged for 

her to have nothing but the best, 
including Fonda, called by one critic 
"the most likable of the new crop of 
romantic juveniles." 

Fonda's first film for Wanger was 
in 1936, the memorable Trail of the 
Lonesome Pine, in which he played 
a mountaineer and co-starred with 
Sylvia Sidney and Fred MacMurray. 
This was the first outdoor Techni- 
color picture and a huge success. 
Another item of note in regard to 
this film : Al Capp once told Logan 
that young Fonda's face in this 
picture was the prototype for Li'l 

"I remember when I first started 
working with Fred MacMurray in 
Trail of the Lonesome Pine," said 
Fonda in The Great Movie Stars 
by David Shipman (Bonanza Books, 
1970). "We had both sort of fallen 
into this, and we were talking about 
this fantastic money we were 
making and how, if we could only 
last two more years and put it in the 
bank, we could say the hell with 
'em. And Hathaway [Henry Hatha- 
way, director of the film] just 
laughed, saying we'd still be at it 
in — I don't recall, 20 years' or some- 
thing like that — and we both 
thought he was absolutely insane. 
But here we are, both of us. I think 
it's incredible." 

His next film at Paramount was 
The Moon's Our Home. In 1937, he 

Fonda's face was the prototype for Li '1 Abner. 

starred in Wings Of Morning and 
You Only Live Once. And also in 
1937, he made That Certain Woman 
with Bette Davis. In '38 there was 
Jezebel; in '39 Jesse James (Fonda 
played brother Frank to Tyrone 
Power's Jesse). Fonda played Wat- 
son to Don Ameche's Alexander 
Graham Bell, hut shied from playing 
Young Mr. Lincoln. "Lincoln was to 
me a god." But he agreed to do a test. 
And so after two or three hours in 
makeup where they put the nose and 
wart on and fixed his hair, Fonda 
did a scene. Then in a projection 
room the next day he saw the test. 
The actor looked like Lincoln, "then 
my voice came out and it destroyed 
it for me." And Fonda said, "I'm 
sorry, fellows. It won't work." 

Months later, John Ford, not on 
the picture when Fonda had done 
his test, was assigned to direct it. 
And, as Fonda said in Hollywood 
Speaks, "I got a call to come in and 
see John Ford! Now I'd never met 
Ford. I knew his work. I'm a fan of 
Ford's, too. I remember going into 
his office the way a recruit would go 
in to see the admiral. That's the way 
I felt. I was a movie star. But I felt 
like a recruit, you know, with a 
white hat in my hand. He was 
typical Ford the first time. I've 
known him ever since, intimately, 
and I'll never forget: He looked up 
at me from under the hat he had on, 
and the patch on the eye, and either 
the handkerchief in his mouth or the 
pipe or whatever he was chewing 
on, and said, 'What the fuck is all 
this shit about you not wanting to 
play this part? He can only talk by 
using all- the bad words! He said, 
'You think you'd be playing the god- 
dam great emancipator, huh? He's a 
goddam fucking jakelegged lawyer 
in Springfield, for Christ's sake!' He 
went on at more length, but what he 
did was to shame me into playing 
Young Mr. Lincoln, and that started 
the whole romance." 

Also in '39, Ford and Fonda 

Rochelle Hudson took over a star role 
in Fonda's second picture when Janet 
Gaynor withdrew from WAY DOWN 
EAST (1935). 

teamed again for the lusty historical 
drama, Drums Along the Mohawk, 
which co-starred Claudette Colbert. 
Then came the film that Fonda said 
"is certainly one of the pictures I'm 
proudest to have been involved in. It 
was one of the greatest experiences 
of my life. I think it is one of the top 
things Ford did." 

The picture? The Grapes of 
Wrath, which Howard Barnes in the 
New York Herald Tribune called "an 
honest, eloquent and challenging 
screen masterpiece. . .it is a genuine- 
ly great motion picture." Bosley 
Crowther included it, of course, in 
his book The Great Films: 50 
Golden Years of Motion Pictures. 

The director and both actors were 
up for Academy Awards. (Fonda: 
"When I was nominated I got out of 
the country. I went fishing off 
Mexico on John Ford's boat.") Ford 
and Darwell won. Fonda didn't; 
winner was James Stewart for The 
Philadelphia Story. 

In a moving tribute to Fonda, 
Steinbeck once wrote of the time a 
friend had loaned him a 16-mm 
print of The Grapes of Wrath, 
"made well over twenty years ago. I 
was greatly reluctant to look at it. 
Times pass; we change; the urgency 
departs and this is called 'dating.' 

But I did thread the thing on my 
home projector and sat back to 
weather it out. Then a lean, stringy, 
dark-faced piece of electricity 
walked out on the screen, and he 
had me. I believed my own story 
again. It was fresh and happening 
and good. Hank Fonda can do that. 
He carries with him that excitement 
which cannot be learned ..." 

One of the pictures he enjoyed on 
loan-out was Preston Sturges' bril- 
liant 1940 comedy, The Lady Eve, 
with Barbara Stanwyck. She and 
Fonda made three films together. "I 
guess it was the best," said Fonda, 
"but all three were fun, mostly 
because of Barbara ..." 

A Fox picture that Fonda liked 
was The Ox-Bow Incident, which 
both he and director William 
Wellman wanted to do, but, said 
Fonda, "It took long sessions of 
violent argument with Darryl 
Zanuck to get him to allow me to do 
it . " Though it opened to great 
reviews, it wasn't popular with war- 
year audiences. Yet now it's de- 
servedly considered a classic. 

When Fonda got out of the Navy, 
he still owed Fox three pictures on 
his seven-year contract. So he 
teamed with Ford on their fourth 
picture but first Western together: 
My Darling Clementine distin- 
guished by Ford's deliberate direc- 
tion, his famous stock company of 
actors, and Fonda's portrayal which 
is the definitive characterization of 


Confrontation between the Captain 
and the Lieutenant: James Cagney 
and Henri/ Fonda in MISTER 
ROBERTS (1955), which marked 
Fonda 's return to the screen after seven 
years on Broadway and tour. 

Wyatt Earp. The last picture he 
made under his Fox contract was 
Daisy Kenyan co-starring Joan 
Crawford in a film said The New 
York Times, "which would be a lot 
more obvious in the hands of less 
attractive players." 

After playing his first unsym- 
pathetic role, a spit-and-polish 
colonel in Ford's Fort Apache, 
Fonda went to New York with a film 
project to seek play-doctoring advice 
from his friend Josh Logan, "but I 
arrived by chance on the day he and 
Tom Heggen finished the script of 
Mister Roberts. " 

"When you're doing a comedy, it 
is gratifying to hear people laughing 
from beginning to end," Fonda told 
an interviewer in 1965, "but most of 
the time when I have found the 
greatest excitement have been on 
empty stages, in empty theatres. In 
rehearsals, when you are first begin- 
ning to realize the possibilities in 
some scenes, you have moments 
which rival anything with a live 
audience. The first run-through of 
Mister Roberts was something I'll 
never forget. I just well up emotion- 
ally thinking about it." 

And the opening night at the 
Alvin Theatre February 19, 1948, 
was something others will never 
forget. Springer wrote that no 
opening night he ever attended "has 
ever been more exciting. The liter- 

ally star-studded audience did not 
merely give the play an ovation. 
They shouted themselves hoarse. 
They stood on seats. The curtain 
kept going up as the actors took still 
another bow. But the audience 
wouldn't leave. Finally, Fonda 
made one of his rare curtain 
speeches: 'This is all Tom and Josh 
wrote for us. If you want, we can 
start all over again , ' As John 
Chapman reported, 'I hung around 
awhile, hoping they would.'" 

Plumbing the depths — that's the 
Fonda modus operandi. "All my 
performances are pretty well worked 
out. ...My goal is that the audi- 

ence must never see the wheels 
go around, not see the work that 
goes into this. It must seem effortless 
and real. I keep working. . .to make 
everything so real a part of the 
character that it never seems to be 

And does he succeed! For when he 
made the movie in 1955 — he'd been 
on the stage for seven years (1,670 
performances of Mister Roberts, two 
years with Point of No Return and 
one year with The Caine Mutiny 
Court-Martial) — critic William K. 
Zinsser wrote in the New York 
Herald Tribune that Henry Fonda 
"seems not to be acting Mister 
Roberts but to be Mister Roberts. 

Variety, that famous show-busi- 
ness bible, included Fonda in its 
1967 listing of the 20 most important 
male box office stars in the entire 
history of the screen. 

Even so, for Fonda "there's very 
little personal satisfaction in doing 
those bits and pieces for a movie. 
You don't really have any recollec- 
tion of having created a role." In 
Films and Filming (February, 1963) 
he said, "I haven't seen over half of 
my films, but in the ones that I have 
seen, even those received well critic- 
ally and those that have won 
awards, there are things I wish I had 
had more chance to rehearse." 

And Fonda has said: "The theater 
was my first love. It was. It is." 

Which is good news for playgoers. 
For, as his friend Joshua Logan said, 
". . .when Fonda smiles, the theater 

UPDATE: 1955 to 1974 

Since Mister Roberts, Fonda has continued to star on both screen 
and stage. In "55 he returned to the Omaha Community Playhouse to 
co-star with Dorothy McGuire in The Country Girl, in which the 
ingenue was played by his daughter Jane. And his more than 30 films 
since then have included War and Peace, Hitchcock's The Wrong Man, 
Twelve Angry Men, which he co-produced, The Longest Day, Advise 
and Consent, Fail Safe, The Best Man, The Battle of the Bulge, Once 
Upon a Time In the West, There Was a Crooked Man, Sometimes a 
Great Notion, and Ash Wednesday. Stage appearances have included 
Two for the Seesaw, Silent Night, Lonely Night, Critic's Choice, A Gift 
of Time, Generation, and three plays with the Plumstead Playhouse 
(Our Town, Front Page, The Time of Your Life) . On TV he was in The 
Deputy for two years. The Smith Family for one, and numerous 
specials, including Steinbeck's Travels with Charley and The Red 
Pony. In 1970 he was on a national tour with Fathers Against Sons 
Against Fathers. Now he's doing Clarence Darrow. In 1972 he received 
an award from the Charlotte Cushman Society (the oldest American 
theater society), honoring him as "a distinguished contributor to the 
vitality of the American Theater." Under consideration: the fabulous 
Fondas — Henry, Jane and Peter — appearing together in a production 
for the country's bicentennial. 


(Continued from page 33) 

house drama, he was a bellboy 

suspected of being dishonest. 

After reading the script of East of 
Eden, a property that Warner 
Brothers was having trouble in cast- 
ing, Jane Deacy immediately started 
a campaign to get Dean the prize 
role of Cal Trask. She overcame Elia 
Kazan's doubts that her client was 
capable of handling the role. 

Late in 1954 he started to work, 
Warner's publicity department gave 
him a "full treatment — with extras" 
press campaign. Dean rented an 
apartment which he shared with 
Dick Davalos, the actor who was 
playing his brother, He also became 
friendly with talent agent Dick 
Clayton who had taken on the task 
of handling Dean's contract business 
and his public relations. 

East of Eden, based only on the 
final chapters of John Steinbeck's 
rambling novel, had a most opposite 
role for Dean; the unloved son of a 
self-righteous farmer whose wife had 
deserted her children for a life as a 
whorehouse madam. Dean, as the 
groping youth desperate to be loved 
and respected by the father he 
idolized, reached the hearts of every- 
one with his performance. Star and 
director, Kazan, who clashed often 
during the filming, were both 
nominated for Academy Awards. 

While making East of Eden, Dean 
worked with Natalie Wood for the 
first time in a General Electric 
Theatre television production "I Am 
a Fool." Eddie Albert co-starred. 
Indirectly this teleplay led to Miss 
Wood's current popularity. It was 
on the strength of this performance 
— and the fact that she and Dean 
were a compatible team — that she 
was selected to appear in Nicholas 
Ray's Rebel Without A Cause which 
Warners rushed into production 
after studio executives had seen a 
rough cut of East of Eden. 

When Rebel Without A Cause was 

completed, Warners began negoti- 
ating a new contract for Dean. This 
agreement would pay him $100,000 
a film for seven years and would 
allow him to make outside pictures. 
Among the loanout deals being 
considered was an offer from MGM 
for him to play Rocky Graziano in 
Somebody Up There Likes Me and 
one from Paramount for the Jim 
Piersall role in Fear Strikes Out. 
Warners' plans included starring 
him in a Western about Billy the Kid 
in which the outlaw would not be 
depicted as a sympathetic character 
but as a baby-face, cold-blooded 
killer. There was also talk he would 
star in Damn Yankees. Dean antici- 
pated working in these films, but his 
next film was his last. Oddly 
enough, he had never been seriously 
considered for the Jett Rink role in 
Giant until after Alan Ladd, 
director George Stevens' choice, 
rejected the part. 

Dean's last television work was a 
role in a Schlitz Playhouse drama, 
"The Unlighted Road," which was 
telecast for the first time — May 6, 
1955 — the week principal photog- 
raphy started on his last motion 
picture. Giant, filmed partly on 
location in Marfa, Texas, is a 197 
minute color spectacle based on 
Edna Ferber's popular novel. Bosley 
Crowther climaxed his rave review 
with, "It is the late James Dean who 
makes the malignant role of the surly 
ranch hand who becomes an oil 
baron the most tangy and corrosive 
in the film. Mr. Dean plays this 
curious villain with stylized spooki- 


ness — a sly sort of off-languor and 
slur of language — that concentrates 
spite. This is a haunting capstone to 
the brief career of Mr. Dean." 

In March, 1955 Dean had won the 
Palm Springs Road Race contest for 
production cars under 1500 cc. Once 
his scenes in Giant were completed 
his plan was to enter another race 
October 2, 1955 at Salinas, Califor- 
nia. On Friday afternoon, two days 
before the race, he left Los Angeles 
for Salinas. Riding with him was 
Rolf Wuetherich, a mechanic for the 
Porsche factory. Following in 
another car was Dean's close friend, 
photographer Sanford Roth. At a 
highway intersection 28 miles 
outside of Paso Robles Dean's car 
crashed into one driven by Donald 
Turnupseed, a student from Tulare. 
Turnupspeed suffered only minor 
injuries in the collision. The 
mechanic suffered a broken leg and 
numerous head injuries. Dean, who 
had been driving his Porsche, died 
almost instantly. His average speed 
from Los Angeles had been more 
than 80 mph. 

In February, 1956 Photoplay cited 
James Dean as the outstanding actor 
of 1955 for his performances in 
Rebel Without A Cause and East of 
Eden. That same month he received 
his first posthumous Academy 
Award nomination. Modern Screen 
voted him their "Special Achieve- 
ment Award." Motion picture 
exhibitors announced that their 
patrons, in a national poll, named 
Dean as the best actor of 1955. A 
year later this same poll also placed 
Dean in the first position . The 
Hollywood Foreign Press Association 
voted him "The World's Favorite 
Actor." He won the 1956 English 
Academy Award. France awarded 
him a "Crystal Star" citation — the 
French Film Academy's highest 
honor. And in annual acting award 
honors given by Belgium, Finland, 
Japan and Germany, Dean won. In 
1957 he was nominated for his 
second posthumous Academy 
Award. No other screen personality, 
dead or alive, has ever received so 
many accolades in so brief a time. |^§ 

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We'll welcome your comments on our 
efforts to bring you some pleasures 
from the past. It seems a great time to review- 
in our bicentennial era— the heritage of 
our yesterdays, the years that carried 
us from horse power to 
rocket power, from the earth to the moon. 
Some of us lived through all those years 
and are richer for having done so, and 
the rest of us have heard the stories second 
hand. But there are always things we 
have missed, events we would like to see 
and hear again. What do you 
remember deliciously? Write and tell 
us what you would like to see 
"Nostalgia-ized." Then pull up a comfort- 
able seat, lean back and return with us t 
each month to "those 
thrilling days of yesteryear." 

The Editors 



■ Phantom Lady's patriotism: "America comes first — even before 

• Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey pen mash notes to Sensation 

■ How a Ph.D. psychologist dreamt up Wonder Woman. Its strange 
psychosexual mix 

■ The first Tarzan story : 95,000 words written in longhand on some- 
body else's stationery by a 35-year-old pauper 

■ Plastic Man and Hugh Hefner 

■ Triumphant researchers unearth a pre-Disney Mickey and Minnie 

■ It came from Lafayette Street : the birth of Mad 

■ Comics Code Authority softens its stand against vampires and were- 
wolves, provided they are "used in the classic manner" 

■ Little Orphan Annie's radio boyfriend: Why Joe Cornstassle was 

■ Madam Fatal : here in drag 

■ Turnabout is fair play. "The Lonely Dungeon" (Mysrery Tales 
* 1 8 ) "proves" that the monster created Dr. Frankenstein 

■ New York Magazine brings back The Spirit 

■ The schizophrenia of the EC symbol: Education Comics (Picture 
Stories from the Bible) and Entertaining Comics (Haunt of Fear, 

■ Carl Barks' life at the Disney Studios: "I was just a duck man- 
strictly a duck man" 

■ Radio at its best-the opening chant of Superman 

■ Comic book wartime slogan: "Tin Cans in the Garbage Pile Are 
l Just a Way of Saying 'Heil!' " 

Well, it wasn't great literature (gasp!), 
but we all read it. On a lazy summer after- 
noon, the only sound heard in the land 
was the flipping of comic-book pages at 
Pop's soda fountain, or under the old elm 
tree (remember elms?). 

In The Comic-Book Book, popular cul- 
ture historians Dick Lupoff and Don 
Thompson continue the missionary work 
they began with the justly acclaimed 
pioneer volume, All in Color for a Dime. 
Aided by a crew of outrageously knowl- 
edgeable comic-book buffs and a batch of 
carefully chosen illustrations, they evoke 
the old magic— and also make some pene- 
trating, scholarly, nostalgic and wildly 
funny remarks on those never-to-be-for- 
gotten pleasures of our innocent youth. 

Chockful of vital facts about Young 
America's favorite reading matter, The 
Comic-Book Book is an entertaining and , 
evocative excursion into memory land* 
and an important contribution to ^fl 
the study of pop culture. ^1^7 


525 Main St., New Rochelle, N Y. 10801 

:K Lupoff ana Don niomn. 

As a member I get t 
Of 20% to 89% plu< 


$ 7.95 

off the store price when 
you join the Nostalgia 
Book Club and agree to 
buy 4 Club books or rec- 
ords over the next 2 years. 


id The Comic. Beak Book postpaid.